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How to Make Tough Choices June 20, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in 9-5-4, add, add parents, adhd, aging, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, brain, brain drain, brain injury, challenged, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, discipline, distractibility, focus, ld, learning disability, meditation, memory, memory loss, mTBI, parenting, social skills.
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One simple way we can sort out what choice is best is to create a plus and minus column.

Put in the advantages and disadvantages of your proposed choice. Number each choice on an “important to me” scale of one to ten. Add up both columns or get a friend to help.

Many genius minds got their inspiration after napping or a good night’s sleep.

Still undecided? Separate your thoughts into three sections I feel this way, I think this about this and I sense or remember this could happen. The first method gives you the “what” of the story while the second method gives you the “why.”
Now you need the “when.” This you can get by asking your self “Why is this a good time for this choice?” What can I gain by waiting, deciding immediately or not choosing at all”? For the where of this story consider if this is the best place or would a change of location make a difference. Also ask your self is there any knowledge missing I need to make this choice.

Sleep on your decisions and listen to the voice on the inside. Often you will sense a green light, a red light or a yellow proceed with caution.

Our minds have amassed countless categories and can assess in a moment of time what you could take months to think about actively. Many genius minds got their inspiration after napping or a good night’s sleep. It can work for you too!

Mathematicians have determined we can make informed choices by following what are called axioms. They use numbers to explain things but we will use life examples to share these ideas.

There are 5 principles or axioms for making decisions.

  1. Comparability
  2. Transitivity
  3. Dominance
  4. Independence
  5. Invariance

The first principle is called “comparability.” For this you need to know you prefer apples to bananas or banana to apples or that you dislike or like both bananas and apples.

Axiom two is called “transitivity,” which means if you prefer apples to bananas and bananas to carrots you must prefer apples to carrots.

“Dominance” is axiom three. Here is how it works, a choice is dominant and must be preferred if when it is compared to an alternate choice it is best in at least one respect and better in all other respects. Dominated or lesser choices are not to be preferred.

Axiom four is called “independence.” This says “no outside data should affect your choice.”

The last axiom, number five, is “invariance.” Different scenery involving the same choice scenario should not affect the choice. Another way of saying this is your choice preference should remain independent of how it is described.

When any of these axioms are not met there are several possibilities. The choice was not yours to make. In this case move on. You can not take responsibility for other peoples’ choices.

Zig Ziglar says ‘Life is like the movies …You produce your own show!”

Happy people live nineteen percent longer. Make a good investment. You can invest in worry or you can invest in you.

There was not enough information available to make an informed choice or you were not given the power to make the choice. Life happens and life cycles, what goes around comes around. Think out a strategy for next time or watch for something effective another individual is using to negotiate the issue.

You are a champion. Experience and coaching will help you win. Experts practice and watch for doors of opportunity. Novices give up because they see an event as defining them.

Failure is an event and not an identity.

Any novice can become an expert. Failure is an event and not an identity. Failure looks for servants, refuse to serve it!

Your choice was clouded by a cultural mindset or political manipulation and does not represent you.

For this scenario you will feel dissatisfied even when the choice is beneficial to you because you can not own it without changing your identity.

  • Think about how you can change your world one step at a time.
  • The way you see yourself is the way others will treat you.
  • Change your words and determine your destiny.
  • Your words will build you or destructure (destroy) you.
  • Go back to the chapter that suggests you decide what you would do if only you could. Find a way to take one step towards your destiny and do it!

–Dr. Amy Price


Mental Obesity June 6, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add, add parents, adhd, alternative treatment, art, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain drain, camp, children, cognitive decline, concentration, education, exercise, fitness, health, ld, learning disability, memory, obesity, parenting, parents, school, social skills, sports, summer, underachieve, video games.
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Think of your brain like your body.  What do you feed it each day?  A brain diet high in video games and low in cognitive demands will lead to mental obesity!

The NY Times is reporting that new web sites aimed at children, especially girls, are on the rise. These sites allow kids to chat, Instant Message, Accessorize their cartoon avatars, dress up dolls and play video games.  Sounds like fun, so what’s the problem?

The problem is that your brain is like a muscle–use it or lose it.  Spending an hour or two playing high stimulus, low cognition games (or watching equivalent TV programs, or reading equivalent comic books) is fine IF IT IS PART OF A WELL-BALANCED BRAIN DIET.

What makes a well-balanced brain diet?

Introducing the Brain-Food Pyramid:

  • 1-2 Hours of High-Stimulus, Low-Cognition activities: video games, TV, passive music, chatting with friends, internet surfing.
  • 1-2 Hours of  High-Cognition Activities: reading above grade level, write an essay, playing a musical instrument, peak-performance athletics, planning a big project.
  • 1-2 Hours of Physical Activity: walking, jogging, swimming, unstructured playing, sports, bicycling, etc.
  • 1-2 Hours of Socializing: hanging out with friends and family.
  • 7-10 hours of sleep!

“Kids these days” are packing on 4-14 hours PER DAY of high stimulus activities that require next to zero thinking.  They’re ignoring the other aspects of life, sacrificing social skills and physical health (including sleep) in order to get their next “fix” of almost-free brain stimulus.

Your brain needs exercise every day in order to stay in shape.  Don’t let Barbie take that away!

Good luck,

Allen Dobkin

Get the Biggest Advantage for Your Child June 4, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add, add parents, adhd, alternative treatment, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, challenged, children, concentration, discipline, distractibility, education, homework, ld, learning disability, medication, parenting, parents, school, social skills, Sparks of Genius, standardized testing, teacher.
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Our nation has shifted its educational focus to standardized testing performance, for good or bad. One result is that parents, schools and districts are all looking for ways to play the system. If a school can massage the numbers just right, they get more funding. If parents can have their child diagnosed ADHD or with a Learning Disability, then the child can get extra time on the FCAT and SAT, which leads to a higher score and better college prospects. Plus, a little Ritalin or Adderall goes a long way. For anyone. Are your children getting lost in the shuffle? We hope to show you a trick or two to make sure that your kid has the best advantages, no matter what gimmicks are used by other parents and schools.

Are the children getting lost in the shuffle?
We hope to show you a trick or two to make sure that your kid has the best advantages, no matter what gimmicks are used by other parents and schools.

The NY Times ran an interesting feature highlighting the advantages in redshirting: keeping a child out of kindergarten until he or she is a little older, as much as a year.

Click here for the full article.

Tool #1: Train your child to think that he or she is the boss.

This may seem counterintuitive. After all, we often fight our kids to get them to do their homework. You want to transition your child’s current thinking from the perspective of “Educational Victim” to “Educational Entrepreneur”.

Victim Entrepreneur
Homework is an imposition Homework is a challenge/tool
Teachers are authority figures Teachers are like employees
I’m never going to use this in real life How can I use this in real life?
No dreams beyond play Big, earth-shaking dreams
High level of concern with appearing smart or cool High level of concern with overcoming challenges
Parents complain about school system Parents participate in school system

The institution of education, whether by accident or design, tends to create Educational Victims. In order to transition your child to thinking like an Educational Entrepreneur, requires adult-to-adult conversation. Your child doesn’t have the tools to change their own attitudes, so you must show them the way. Here’s how you do it.First, fix the “Stinking Thinking.” When you hear your child say things like, “I’m never going to use this in real life”, or “Miss Stinkyfoot is a rotten teacher” or “I hate homework”, take ten minutes and walk through this process. First, ask them exactly what is bothering them. Make them get specific. “He’s a jerk” doesn’t cut it. Once the complaint is out in the open, you must reframe it from the perspective of an Educational Entrepreneur. Here are some common translations.

Translate Stinking Thinking
Stinkin’ Thinkin’ iThoughts
Homework is boring Let’s turn it into a challenge: how much can you finish in 15 minutes (then take a fun break).
Mr. Soandso is mean to me Let’s find a way to make him a friend…just like we would as an adult with a mean employee
I’m never going to use this in real life Sometimes the content isn’t what is important, but mastering the PROCESS is. The best businesses have the best processes, not necessarily the best products.
The subject is boring. Tie the subject in to real life and show how it is important.
I’m bored/hate school. This student is stuck in victim mode. Reframe the school experience so that the child is the boss. Consider that the child may be overwhelmed and need some one-on-one help.

To be continued tomorrow.

-Allen Dobkin