Improve your ADHD child’s behavior AND set him/her on a path for success as an adult.
Let me be clear: this action will not only improve your ADHD child’s behavior; it will change your whole relationship IF you are willing to be consistent. I guarantee it.
One of the most difficult things about parenting an ADHD child or teen is knowing how to balance reality and dreams. You want so much for your child and you see so much potential, but you need to deal with the here and now. Where do your hopes and dreams fit when you’re just trying to get teachers to follow a 504 plan? Getting them through school is important, to be sure, but it’s not where you will have the most immediate and longest-lasting impact.
It doesn’t matter a whole lot whether your child is home-schooled, unschooled, private or public schooled. Reaching one’s potential doesn’t usually happen in school. Your child’s potential won’t be measured by grades or test scores or getting along with authority figures, though those have a certain importance, to be sure. Plenty of home-schooling parents have the same behavior questions that you have, the same questions about future success and happiness.
Above everything else, nurturing your relationship comes first. And because it’s a parenting relationship, it comes with certain obligations – like discipline and boundaries to state the most obvious. The relationship you foster with your child, through thick and thin, is what has the most staying power as far as creating a basis for your child’s happiness, resilience, and success.
Today and every day, focus your efforts on keeping an open mind.
As much as you will be tempted to say,
“Well, we all know how THIS is going to turn out”
don’t do it!
Parenting is a lifetime of being prepared and then being surprised by the unexpected. Sometimes it feels like a good safety measure to get a jump on Life by assuming that our child will always:
- Need help
- Be lazy
- Be unmotivated
- Be sneaky
- Refuse to listen
- Be defiant
- Be sloppy
- and the list goes on…
This is because we’re actually afraid of these thoughts and we think that we should face our fears. We think that when we accept these, we will make more effective parenting decisions.
This is not facing our fears, this is adopting them and giving them a nice, comfortable bed and plenty of food so that they’ll never want to leave.
Yes, you know your child, but you don’t know the future. I see kids change every day, particularly when their parents are willing to let go of fear.
Here are some examples:
- A B- student in high school and college graduates Magna Cum Laude from graduate school because he figured out that he learned best when he was TEACHING other students rather than studying from a textbook. He figured that out all on his own, without his parents, simply by experiencing it.
- A socially-aggressive young woman with no patience for anyone who doesn’t think like her and cater to her needs learns from disappointment after disappointment (including her parents’ disappointment) that, when she is friendly, people swarm to be around her. Completely unexpected.
- A boy with ADHD and High-Functioning Autism, and a short but significant history of misdemeanors, becomes the most wanted team member in group work at school because, even though his work output isn’t optimal, his practical approach to the work helps him direct the team efficiently.
Safely is important. Healthy living is important. Keeping your child protected is important. But unless you live in a war-torn country or a dictatorship, parenting with fear has no place. It is your fear that will keep your kids in whatever unhappy, unfulfilled, resistant existence that they might live in. Parents confirm this for me – in their own words – day after day.
There was a poem that was quite popular when I was in college in the 70s. It’s called “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann. This part always got to me:
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Parent with curiosity, with wonder, with surprise. Parent like you can’t wait to see what amazing things your children will do and who your children will become.
Your child is not comforted by your fears, not inspired by them, not motivated by them in the slightest. Your child would do anything to impress you, but that’s hard to do when you’ve taken on the rigid perspective of fear.
Fear expects the worst. Fear hopes for no surprises. Fear keeps you and your child small and insignificant because there’s never an opportunity to be any bigger than you already are.
Your ADHD children don’t live in the box you’re creating for them. They will always want to see beyond the borders, for better or for worse. When you set limits based on creating a predictable life, you completely ignore what ADHD is and, thus, what your child’s heart and mind are capable of.
What about discipline?
As for discipline, rule-following, boundary-setting and being able to get along in a community that does not have ADHD, that is possible too. But parenting, teaching, or coaching ADHD children should never be about changing who they are; rather it should be about adding to the treasure. I tell my clients, “You are fine the way you are AND to be a part of the world at large there are additional skills to learn, and that’s what I’m here for. To give you choices.”
And let me say the same thing to you parents: “You, too, are fine the way you are. You are amazing – of that I have no doubt. AND to parent (or teach) a child with ADHD, there are additional skills to learn and that’s what I’m here for.”
Having choices in how you parent, will show you how to offer the same to your children.
I encourage you to check out this upcoming online course that I’m teaching: “The No Yelling, No Nagging, No Begging Approach to ADHD and Behavior.” Here’s my invitation to you:
And here’s where you can learn more and register. Be sure to use the coupon code for your $30 discount.
Copyright 2017 Yafa Crane Luria All Rights Reserved