Ok, school started. Back to the grind.
For some parents, it’s a relief to have the kids back to a routine.
But for others, it’s a daily nightmare of prodding them along to reach the potential you know they have.
I wish I had the magic bullet for you to convince your child that if they JUST create and stick to a realistic routine, stay off their devices, get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise, the year would go so smoothly!
Wait – are any of you, like me, also looking for that magic bullet for yourself?? Let’s all admit it, logic and external motivators only get us part of the way to reaching our goals.
It takes a lot of positive self-talk, determination, skills, and sometimes support to achieve what we want consistently.
The good news is that many children, teens, and adults – with ADHD do the incredible; make a plan and stick to it! And if you have ever done that, then you know – man, it feels good!
So, what seems to get in the way?
For adults who are driving their own train, so to speak, procrastination and avoidance can stem from lack of interest, conflicting priorities, lack of confidence, or lack of skill.
But, there is often an added element for children, teens, and young adults, especially those with ADHD and/or Executive Function challenges. Their perspective is that they did not necessarily sign up for the expectations put before them. Add to this that many kids blame or resent their parents for creating these expectations, and now you have a recipe for anger, defiance, deceit, and sometimes just withdrawal.
It is hard enough to be self-motivated when there are goals we genuinely want to achieve! Big ones, like tackling a new business challenge, and small ones, like cleaning the kitchen. But when outside forces work against us, energy is diverted, and forward movement is harder to achieve.
Helping children become self-starters and independent workers is not easy. Finding that balance between being a supportive parent and allowing space so that they feel the weight of their own choices can be quite scary – and NOT easy. I know.
I encourage you, as this new school year begins, to consider this. Regardless of your child’s grade (kindergarten, 12th grade, or college), take some time to reflect on…
- what personal accomplishments you would like to see your child make these first few months toward self-directed behavior
- what progress you can help your child achieve in terms of self-reliance and self-determination.
The latter takes time.
Having a safe, consistent, and connected relationship with you is truly the key to supporting your child in their personal growth. This creates a space where they can focus more on the work in front of them and less on conflicts with you and others.
Does it feel like you and your child are battling each other rather than collaborating toward a common goal?
If so, I invite you to do an intentional relationship reset.
Join my Free 1-Hour Live Webinar on September 29th:
Top Ten Strategies for Parenting Children & Teens with ADHD/Executive Function Challenges©
You may also reach out for support from one of my Parent Coaches or consider joining me for my upcoming parent workshop: Calm and Connected: Parenting Children & Teens with ADHD/Executive Function Challenges©
If your child is in high school or college, they might be ready for their own Coach. Click here to learn more about ADHD Student Coaching.
You are not alone on this journey!