You can help your children build their executive functions if you’re willing to hear the word “NO”
One of the things we forget as parents, when we’re busy trying to get our kids to do what we want in the way that we want, is that whole “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” thing. Sometimes it’s okay to let them say NO. A NO is a chance to practice building executive functions.
Don’t judge me yet!
Don’t get me wrong – they need to do it respectfully and if they don’t, you have the right to ask them to try it again. (One of my favorite lines: “I know you didn’t mean to say it that way. Let’s try it again. You know I’m listening to you.”)
But here’s the thing: the world doesn’t get better if people always say YES. In fact, looking at things from the opposite way, turning conventional wisdom on its ear, is probably what I love the most about having ADHD. I love that it’s completely natural for me to say, “What if X isn’t the best solution?”
“NO” doesn’t have to mean “I don’t respect you.”
So many times we hear that “NO” and we push back: “What do you mean ‘NO’? I’m your mother/father! Don’t ‘NO’ me!” But what if we say, “OK, if you’ve got a better idea, I’d like to hear it.”
How BOLD is that??!!
Use your child’s ADHD, build your child’s executive functions!
Take that “NO” and use it as a teaching/learning opportunity. Have them:
- Come up with a better plan.
- Figure out how that “NO” will play out (they may need your help on this).
- Identify whether this a Health or Safety issue? (Parents are always in charge of health and safety issues)
- Choose what they need in order to make your plan successful?
- Compare your idea and their idea
Man! Opportunity Abounds!
It is weird growing up knowing that you’re different. Knowing that your parents are listening to your line of thinking makes things so much easier for the ADHD child or teen.
P.S. Don’t do this when you or your child are angry. Calm down first. “Let’s talk about this in an hour” (or whatever time frame) is a fair response. They really are very few issues that need an immediate answer, but somehow, we think that the faster we answer the better we are at parenting. Not true. Take your time.
Copyright 2017 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved
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