Youth Coaching and Halloween Candy

halloween-candyHalloween is just two days away.  Time for lots of treats and hopefully, harmless tricks.  People often ask about the connection between ADHD and sugar.  My response is that too much sugar is not good for anyone and that, for some young people with ADHD, too much sugar adds to the lack of focus and hyperactivity.  Sugar does NOT cause ADHD.  This article, “What Eating Too Much Sugar Does to Your Brain”, is a good explanation and overview of the effects of sugar on our brains.  Worth a read.

What does this have to do with youth coaching?  Living near an elementary school in a neighborhood filled with children, I always expected a large turnout of trick-or-treaters.  Remember knocking on doors when you were a kid only to be told “we are out of candy”?  I don’t ever want to be that person, so I stock up on candy to be sure that no child is without a treat. Well, some years are busier than others, and without a doubt, I will have leftover candy at my house and expect you may as well.

Here is where the youth coaching connection comes in.  In the past, whenever I had leftover candy, I put it in a bowl in my office for my clients to munch on during our sessions. Bad move!! Adding sugar to students coming to coaching on the heels of Halloween is NOT a good idea.  Either they were smart enough to ignore the bowl (typically those who had a ton of candy leftover at their own homes) or they gobbled up the sweets with delight.  Coaching usually went well, but what was I sending home?  An unfocused, overactive client who needed to concentrate on homework.  Thankfully, I have never received a call from a parent reporting a problem, most likely because they too are eating from their own candy bowl.  I know what sugar does to our brains and I no longer offer sweets in my office.  I hope that you will use your brains (unsugared, please) and reconsider sugary sweets for youth coaching clients this Halloween.

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC, BCC
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Author: Empowering Youth with ADHD