Casey’s Confession: I Didn’t Like Myself Much
When I was younger, I didn’t like myself much. I always felt different, like everyone was trying to fix me or change me. I had ADHD, Sensory processing issues, was defiant and had a lot of quirks. Focusing in school was really difficult for me and I found myself struggling socially. I was particular about my clothes, what I ate, how loud the tv was. It seemed like I had a meltdown every day over something–homework, karate class, dinner, not winning at my video games.
Everything seemed to be a struggle and everyone was always on me about something. I got the feeling that my Dad didn’t like me a lot. When I talked to a counselor, the focus was primarily on the negative things in my life. I think that’s when my attitude changed–I began to be more angry, defiant and less helpful toward my parents.
In case you don’t know the story, that’s when my Dad started what he called, “Celebrate ADHD.” With help from neuropsychologists and some excellent educational researchers, my father began showing me two things that changed my life:
(1) He taught me that I have a good brain and heart. I always thought I was defective and I know now from talking to other kids that it’s pretty common to feel that way. My Dad taught me WHY I behaved and learned the way I did. All of a sudden, it made sense WHY I procrastinated, liked to fidget and listen to music while studying, needed things just so, struggled with transitions and changes, and made things more difficult. I understood how my brain worked and that what motivated other kids didn’t motivate me–and it was okay that I was different.
Actually, it was much more than that. My parents began to celebrate my differences and show me how to turn that obstinance into persistence, taking that desire to prove my point and using it to be a persuasive writer. Before, I just felt like I was destined to be “a dumb kid” who was always in trouble. I felt like I’d never fit in.
Once I understood why my brain worked that way, I felt like someone finally understood me. That’s when my attitude changed and when my Dad and I became really close. I finally felt like my parents were on my side, that I could be myself AND be successful at the same time. Get to know your kids and like who they are.
I’ve talked to tons of kids at my school assemblies. They want to be understood. They don’t want to always lose their video games and get sent to their rooms. Take the time to understand them–even if they are very different from you and it scares you!
(2) He showed me HOW to be successful. When I was younger, I got punished all the time at home and school. Then my parents showed me HOW to focus, be organized, remember without being told seven times, control my emotions and not freak out when they gave me consequences.
If you don’t teach your kids this, they will feel helpless to change and start calling themselves, “Stupid.” It hurts inside as a kid to feel like even though you are trying you can’t ever do it right. It makes you want to give up hope.
That’s why I want other kids to understand that even though they have challenges, there are specific ways they can improve focus, do homework faster, get organized, deal with distractions and control their emotions. I want kids to know how to stimulate their brains in positive ways–listening to music, bouncing on an exercise ball, exercising, and helping other people help improve focus. When I get upset, I do pushups, play my guitar, throw the ball for my dog for five minutes–that gives me time to cool down and think rationally.
This is why I am really excited about the brand new “Straight Talk for Kids” CDs I recorded. Your kids will feel understood because I struggled with the same issues. But I don’t make excuses! I challenge your kids to step up and be responsible. I hope your kids can learn from the mistakes I made and know that they have a great future ahead of them. Thanks for being so involved with your kids.
Send your kids back to school with confidence. 50% OFF Now.
Click here to get Casey’s NEW Straight Talk for Kids for $97
The original version of this CD set primarily featured Kirk when Casey was younger. In this updated version, Casey recorded 100% of the content in a confident, straightforward style that your kids will respect. Plus it features brand new content.
Your kids will feel understood when they hear how teenager Casey Martin struggled as a child and how he overcame common challenges. Casey shows your kids how to get power over their emotions, choices and words. He talks about ways to build confidence and deal with anger and criticism. He challenges kids to have healthy relationships with siblings, classmates and themselves.
Recorded entirely by Casey Martin, these CDs will empower your kids to make positive choices and earn more freedom. Kids who can control themselves and have confidence have a competitive advantage in life.
Casey Martin teaches kids of all ages practical ways to:
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I wanted to share a poignant essay that Casey’s cousin, Angela, wrote for a school assignment. Angela is a spectrum child who was told by an educational psychologist that she would never be successful in school. Oh, that was two years and four Honor Roll semesters ago. I love Angela’s heart, enthusiasm and blunt honesty.
3 Things I Value Most
Ethics are principles that every human lives by. The three biggest aspects of ethics for me include honesty, love for animals, and the importance of family.
Honesty is one of my most important aspects of life. I find being honest with yourself and others important because this is what gains people’s trust. No one wants to trust someone who can’t be truthful. I know I want to be trusted and someone other people can talk to. Also, if I need someone to talk to, I’m not going to want to talk to someone I can’t trust. If you are not honest most of the time, the truth finds its way out. So instead of losing someone’s trust, it’s best just to be upfront about it, no matter what the consequences.
In my world, love for animals is very important. I find that animals are just like humans. They all are unique and have their own personalities like us and need to be cared for and loved like our families do for us. One experience I’ve had was when I had a squirrel. It was a baby that fell out of its nest and would have died if someone hadn’t been there to care for it. I raised it until it got strong enough to care for itself. I learned that even wild animals need to be love and cared for just like us.
My third most valued ethic is the importance of family in one’s life. Friends come and go, but the ones who are always there are your family. They are the ones who will love you unconditionally and are with you through the hard and good times. For some of us, it might just be your parents, brothers, and sisters. But for others, it includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. I know family plays a huge role in my life. I know they will always be there for me if I need them. Without them, I would be lost.
My ethics are probably very different from yours and may even seem silly. But I may be just like you. So take matters into your own hands and see for yourself what effect this will have in your own life, for better or for worse.
- Angela Martin
When I conduct school assemblies, lots of kids ask me, “What do you do when people don’t like you?” That’s a tough question!
1) Does that person REALLY not like you?
- When I was younger, I used to think my teachers and classmates didn’t like me. I misinterpreted something they’d say and think, “He’s just mean and doesn’t like me.” Most of the time, it was just a misunderstanding. So have some guts and go talk to the person. See if you can find something you have in common with that person. It’s hard not to like someone who shares a passion you enjoy–it gives you something to talk about.
- This happens all the time to teenagers. There is so much drama! Girls won’t talk to each other because they heard the second cousin of their aunt’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend’s sister’s friend once said something. So a girl will walk around thinking that another girl doesn’t like her–when it’s just not true! Go talk to that person!
- When I was a little kid, I think I assumed people didn’t like me…because I didn’t like myself. Do you like who you are?
2) If another person really doesn’t like you, then what do you do? Here are some ideas:
- If you value that person’s friendship, then ask why they don’t like you. Maybe you did something to hurt their feelings, but didn’t recognize that. You could apologize. Or you find out another person lied about you. You can try to correct that lie.
- You can’t control how other people feel about you. And you shouldn’t try to. Sometimes people just are not going to like you. What I teach in the Straight Talk for Kids program is the Power Principle. You cannot give another person POWER over how you feel about yourself. So, someone doesn’t like you? That’s fine. It doesn’t change the way I live my life, feel about myself or how friendly I am. I do not give power over my mood, attitude and behavior to another person.
I hope this helps. After you listen to the Straight Talk for Kids CDs, email me and post questions below. I’ll be happy to help you.
(Click here for an extra special 50% discount on my Kids CDs!)
I know lots of you guys are anxious about starting the new school year. School work isn’t always a ton of fun so if you can figure out ways to think better, you can do it more quickly. Here’s one of my favorite ways to do work. I exercise first, then do my most difficult work. The exercise wakes up my brain and helps me focus. When I get the worst homework out of the way, it helps me relax and makes the rest of homework time easier. Does that make sense? Tell me some ways that YOU can exercise before doing your work.
So it’s pretty cool when you are a teenager and you see how other kids are taking back power over their emotions and actions. I think this 9-year-old rocks. He’s going to have a great life!
I thought you would be encouraged to hear about the ways your Straight Talk for Kids CD is transforming relationships in our family. We have two intense, challenging, creative, bossy boys (ages 9 and 11). Until recently, they had frequent conflicts on a daily basis. It was so discouraging!
The first time we listened to your Straight Talk CD, I could hear our nine year old in the back seat of the car saying, “Yep, that’s right. That’s me!” He immediately identified with Casey. The section about handling frustration with siblings really struck a chord with him.
The second time we listened to the CD, he said, “You know, he’s right. He’s really right – it’s just so hard to do what he says.”
When we listened the third time, he said “something snapped in his brain” and he realized that he could “make (his older brother) jealous by having a perfect life.” When I asked him what he meant, he said he was going to stop fighting by being generous!
This morning, his brother was banging on the piano keys in frustration. Normally this would set his younger brother off - escalating to a physical confrontation between the boys and ending in door slamming. Instead, our younger son calmly colored a card for his brother which said, “I love you. Thanks for being such a great brother.”
As he was pacing in the kitchen and reflecting on the incident afterwards (and receiving heaps of praise from me), he said, “The meaner he gets, the more thoughtful I’ll get.” Then he went on to say, “You know, I just figured something out! When someone’s mean to you, and you retaliate, it doesn’t feel good inside. But when you’re nice to them instead, it feels better!”
Reflecting upon his experience further, he added, “One of God’s hardest things for us to do is to love our enemies, and since that’s such a hard thing to do, I think He put something inside of us that makes us feel happy to do that – almost like a reward that He’s given to us. I like it! It makes me feel bouncy inside!” Then, quoting Calvin and Hobbes, he said, “You know, ‘Virtue really is it’s own reward’”
Gotta love a kid like that
Yes, you do!!
Some of you will say, “But I have all these issues and struggles that other people don’t have.” You are partially correct, but you’ve only told half the story. The truth is that people like us do have some struggles and challenges other people don’t face. We feel like we’re swimming upstream because we don’t fit into the way society wants us to. We may have difficulty remembering things, sitting for a long time or focusing in class—yeah, that makes school more difficult. These sensory issues cause us some difficulties. That’s true.
Unfortunately, many people spend too much time focusing on our weaknesses. And so we think that we have all these disadvantages because we don’t see our strengths. Begin watching and studying people, and you’ll learn this. Every single person on the planet has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone. Successful people overcome obstacles and spend most of their time using their strengths to their advantage.
The part you left out is this: you have strengths and advantages that others don’t have. You are incredibly creative in your thinking and way you do things. You aren’t afraid to ask why, to do things differently, to try new things. You feel things other people don’t. When you are interested in something, you can focus on it like a pit bull for hours and hours—this will help you get things done that others can only dream about. You have a ton of energy—if you use this in purposeful, positive ways you can literally change the world. And that is what you are called to do.
So let’s not wallow in any excuses about how things are tougher for us. Let’s be who we are made to be. For ourselves. But also for another reason.
Society needs people like us to be ourselves. All of the cool stuff that everyone has on their Christmas or birthday list is designed and created by people like us. Every great new invention comes from someone who said, “There has to be a better way to do it.”
Do you have an iPod or want one? The iPod was developed by a guy named Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple Computer. Can’t you imagine him saying one day many years ago, “I’m going to design this little device that fits in your pocket and holds 5,000 songs.” And can you see people scoffing at him and saying, “That’s impossible”?
Star Wars, Harry Potter, the Wii, all the best movies and books and songs, come from people who feel the world around them, who are sensitive to their surroundings. You have a cool brain. You are wired like this on purpose. Now it’s up to you to honor that purpose and design by using your gifts and passions to help others and society.
You have a really great future ahead of you.
Sometimes my Dad is annoying, like when he’s right about stuff! I used to say, “I don’t have time for that.” His response? “That’s a lie, Casey. You have time for what is important to you. You are just lying to yourself.” Same thing goes for money. I have the time and money for what is most important to me. And you do, too. So, what is most important to you?
1) What do you want to change in your life? What you want to do more of, who you want to spend more time with? What do you want to do less often?
2) Write down your goals on a piece of paper where you will see it everyday. Tape it to your bathroom mirror or bedroom ceiling!
3) Practice new, practical traditions until they become habits. Go for it!
How I Stopped Texting (Apply to any activity that’s overtaken your life)
Last summer, I realized I was texting way too much and that it was taking time away from other things I wanted to do. I even felt like I was attached to my phone, like I had to have it with me all the time because I had to respond to texts right away. My Dad told me that *I* control my time and when/if I respond–you don’t have to reply right away. When we went to the beach, I told my friends that I wasn’t going to text at all. I spent 7 days without my phone and at the end of the week I felt great. I felt like I was free and in control of my life again. When I started texting again, I was in control and didn’t go overboard. Sometimes when you’re breaking habits, you have to take a radical approach to make it work.
More Guitar, Less Facebook
One of my goals is to spend more time playing guitar, singing and writing music. If you want to break a habit and create a new one, you have to have a specific plan. My plan is to play guitar for one hour each night from 8pm-9pm. Like you, though, I have homework, jobs and chores I need to get done. So if I want to spend an hour playing guitar, I’m going to have to cut out something else, like wasting tons of time on Facebook. In the end, I enjoy guitar more than Facebook.
It’s so easy to fall back into old patterns or forget to do the new habit. I set an alarm on my iPod for 7:55pm to remind me to go play guitar from 8-9pm. I’m also taking a break from Facebook completely so that I can get everything else done and still have time left over for playing guitar.
Part of what I teach kids in assemblies and through the Straight Talk for Kids program is how to take back control over their lives—over their emotions, attitudes, bodies, friendships, finances and time. DO NOT allow peer pressure to force you to do things you don’t want to do. Are you going to give power over your life and choices to other people? NO WAY! No more excuses. You have the power to make choices and do what’s most important to you.
So this is my challenge to you. Listen to the Straight Talk for Kids CDs here. Learn how much power you have in life by controlling yourself and making good choices. Then email me at Casey@CelebrateCalm and let me know how your new goals are going. I’ll be happy to help you, okay?
This is for all my friends out there who struggle with being bossy, arguing too much and trying to control others. As my Dad will tell you, because we don’t have a lot of internal structure, we try to “force” it externally. Here are a few examples I share with kids in the Straight Talk for Kids program.
Sometimes people like us get stuck on things being fair or right. It’s called having a strong sense of justice. We want things to be right and get really annoyed if someone breaks their promise or doesn’t do things the right way. It messes with out sense of order and structure.
I often feel like I have to prove my point and I’m relentless trying to prove my case until my Mom or Dad or friend admits I’m right. I know this ends up hurting my relationships so I’m trying to change this and just let things go. I’ve learned to create my own structure in positive ways. There’s a great phrase my Dad used with every Camp kid who came to the house (yeah, I got sick of hearing it, but it sunk in after the 500th time I heard him say it!): Relationships are more important than being right. Don’t let your obsession with “being right” get in the way of your relationships. It isn’t worth it!
The good thing about being like this is that we want things to be right for people who are hurting or disadvantaged. This is where your good heart comes into play. Spend your energy helping people who are handicapped, have physical or mental disabilities, who are poor and need help. I promise that if you use your great brain to help people, rather than argue your point, you will have an incredibly happy and meaningful life.
It’s pretty cool when kids finally understand WHY they do certain things. That helps us make positive changes. Can you identify with this? Let me know if I can help.
P.S. Brett said that this is the last week that my STRAIGHT TALK FOR KIDS CDs are on Sale. Listen with your kids and then email me. I’ll be happy to help.
When I speak at Student Assemblies, one of the questions other kids ask me is, “How do you calm down when things go wrong or you lose something?” Well, as my Mom and Dad will tell you, I’ve had a lot of practice with losing things!! I have discovered a couple dozen ways to stay calm as a teenager, but I want to share one of my favorites today. This is right from the Straight Talk for Kids CDs. Are your kids listening to these this summer? They should be :) And when they do, let your kids know they can email me with questions and I’ll be glad to help them.
A couple months ago, I lost my iPhone that I had bought with my own money. I got home and it wasn’t in my pocket. I normally would have blamed it on my Dad for some stupid reason and then thrown a big tantrum. Instead I asked myself, “What’s the absolute worst thing that can happen?” I could lose it and have to buy a new one. That would stink, but it’s not the end of the world and it’s only a material object. Other people are struggling with things like cancer so my issue becomes very small in comparison.
Another strategy is to be grateful and give thanks for all the things you have or that are going right. I start going through in my mind all the good things in my life—I have a comfortable home, good food, parents who love me, opportunities to play guitar, friends who care about me, good health and two great dogs. It just helps you step back and see the world isn’t going to end because someone does or says something you don’t like, or because something disappointing happened. Practice this today!
Does technology control you? Or do you control technology? I love having more power in my life. And most kids do. That’s why one of the most critical things I try to teach younger kids and teenagers is how to develop power over their time. The following is taken from the Straight Talk for Kids CDs. I think it’s helpful for kids and also for adults:
Develop power over time. Here’s the thing. Time is finite. It is limited. There are 24 hours in a day and no matter how you try to stretch it, time does not expand. If you do not take control over your time, time will control you and have power over your life. I like being in control and I bet you do as well!
People like us can struggle with time because we get really focused or sidetracked on things and before you know it, three hours just passed and we can’t get it back. There are so many things that can just eat away your time: video games, endless tv channels, the internet, Facebook, Twitter and texting.
I used to spend too much time playing video games and it’s realllllly tempting to constantly text, check out Facebook and surf the internet. What helped me is when my Dad told me that I don’t owe anyone an immediate answer. I always thought if someone texted or emailed me, I had to answer right then. My Dad says that’s an invasion of privacy, that it’s my time I need to have power over, and I’ve seen that work. Now that I am really into music and starting my own business, I want to spend more time playing guitar, writing songs and helping people—not randomly wasting my time.
I still text, I still surf the internet, but it’s more purposeful now and I give myself time limits. I give myself deadlines for completing homework and then a reward for meeting that deadline. Write down those goals. Have one of those whiteboards where you can plan out your night and what you’re going to do. Once you start doing this, you will then be in charge of technology…rather than allowing it to control you!