ADD and My Kid, Part 2: After the Diagnosis—Concerns About Self-medicating

ADD and My Kid, Part 2: After the Diagnosis—Concerns About Self-medicating

After my oldest daughter was diagnosed with ADHD her freshman year of high school, I began to worry—and for good reason. She was fourteen and I’d witnessed what happened when someone self-medicated through high school and beyond. My adopted brother, who was four years older than me, had ADHD growing up. I watched my parents worry about him from the time he started grade school. They'd get calls from his teachers complaining that he’d disrupted class or had a hard time focusing that day. His report cards reflected his struggles, and when Mom and Dad would talk to him about that, he’d have outbursts—sometimes unable to control his emotions. 

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Let's Stop the College Madness!

Let's Stop the College Madness!

I’m the mother of two young adults, and I remember college admissions madness well: When my kids were seniors, we were consumed with anxiety about coming college admissions decisions. When they were juniors, we were in the middle of the SAT/ACT prep and test-taking grind. Sophomore spring was spent debating just how many “rigorous” classes they could cram into their junior year schedules and just how little sleep they needed; maybe a zero period WAS doable! 

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Confessions of a Reformed Helicopter Mom

Confessions of a Reformed Helicopter Mom

Greetings to all you SBFC parents out there! I have a difficult confession to make: I once was a helicopter parent. In my defense, ten years ago when my husband’s and my two oldest kids were teens, books with titles like, How to Raise an Adult, Grit, and The Gift of a Skinned Knee, did not dominate the parenting sections of bookstores across the country, or make the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list...

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The Strand Family Shares Their Story, Part 3

The Strand Family Shares Their Story, Part 3

Cyndi Strand of Manhattan Beach shares with SBFC the tragic story of her son Justin's ongoing struggle with addiction, and ultimately, his death in January of this year. "So now I find myself at my final chapter of my blog about our family and the demons of drugs.  The havoc that is brought into the family: the fear, the sadness, the anger, and the bewilderment is paralyzing.  I will briefly continue the story of our descent into the abyss of drug addiction  and then offer you my thoughts looking back."

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Thoughts on the Brock Turner Case

Thoughts on the Brock Turner Case

So much swirling in my head over the Stanford swimmer rape case. So many social and moral issues all wrapped into one tragic story. I find myself embarrassed and guilty because when I read about the case months ago and saw the headline, "Stanford, Olympic hopeful, rape" I thought to myself,  how very sad...that poor boy's life is ruined, a stupid mistake. I didn't really give much thought or pay attention to the rest of the story. How very wrong. 

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The Strand Family Shares Their Story, Part 2

The Strand Family Shares Their Story, Part 2

Cyndi Strand of Manhattan Beach shares with SBFC the tragic story of her son Justin's ongoing struggle with addiction, and ultimately, his death in January of this year. "What is interesting to me as I look back to the high school years, is that I remember thinking that every family I knew was completely ‘normal’ and that my family was not. I felt so alone as we started our struggle with a child who was experimenting with drugs.  I didn’t want to share with anyone this ‘ugly thing’ taking hold in my otherwise ‘normal’ home.  So, as in our case, we attempted to deal with it on our own, quietly."

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Parenting Tips from Jonathan Scott

Parenting Tips from Jonathan Scott

I recently attended a MCHS Families Connected event, a presentation by Jonathan Scott of Miles to Go Drug Education. He firmly believes that the majority of teens want to please their parents and that by following a few key steps, parents can dramatically reduce the likelihood that their teens will be harmed by drug and alcohol use. So what are those steps?

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Let's Stop the March College Madness

Let's Stop the March College Madness

For those of us with students in the middle of the college admissions process, March Madness has a whole new meaning! If you’ve got a senior, you're consumed with worry about coming college admissions decisions, all of which are released by April 1. I’d like to offer a different perspective, one based on my own children’s experiences and the experiences of the many students I’ve college-counseled over the years. 

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Joan Jenkins and the MB Juvenile Diversion Program - Looking Out for Our Kids

Joan Jenkins and the MB Juvenile Diversion Program - Looking Out for Our Kids

I recently found out that kids who get arrested in Manhattan Beach for a misdemeanor, like having a party where minors are served or using a fake ID, are given the chance to be diverted from the juvenile court system to the office of Manhattan Beach City Prosecutor, Joan Stein Jenkins...

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