Parenting & ADHD Coaching
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Most of the rules and regulations that govern our society were created by non-ADHDers with the idea that everyone is very similar. Your child is unique so there are bound to be challenges.
Do you ever ask yourself:
- Why don’t the parenting techniques in all the books work for my child?
- Is your child having a hard time in school?
- Is your child great at school but then falls apart at home?
- Does your child fight you every day about his homework or chores?
- Can they talk their way out of anything or argue about most topics?
Would you want your child in a relationship where they were not allowed to question the other person’s reasoning or were to follow all the rules all the time in order to get positive feedback from the other person?
In this type of relationship, you cannot shine or grow or even ask questions. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? That is what school is like: follow the rules, no questioning the system, and do well on tests, then, and only then, do you get positive feedback. This is a harsh assessment I realize. I also realize so many the different thinkers who have been let down by the system.
The American school system was designed to create factory workers who would sit on an assembly line doing the same thing day after day. Can you imagine your child sitting in one spot doing the same thing every day?
Gender & ADHD
Recent studies have been clarifying that there are different presentations of ADHD in females and males. Boys and men represent a higher percentage of those diagnosed with ADHD because many of their symptoms are more outwardly visible – wiggling, fidgeting, interrupting and impulsiveness.
Girls and women are under diagnosed with ADHD because they don’t generally have the same outward symptoms as wiggly boys. Your daughter may be quiet and studious but may also struggle to complete projects or remember to turn things in. She may have a hard time forming friendships or expressing empathy, or show signs of anxiety and/or depression.
Since girls and women often travel in packs the ADHDer in the group can be insulated from some of the hardships ADHD can create i.e. Who’s going to ping Tiffany to remind her where we are meeting? Tiffany is “dingy” and super smart too. “Dingy” is a polite way of saying she forgets things, is late, doesn’t finish projects, etc. but the pack builds in safeguards for Tiffany. This is why college can be a turning/breaking point for young women because their steady friend group is now strewn about in different places and not there to support them.
School and ADHD
School is a huge part of parenting and can be a big stressor for your child if they have ADHD. Keeping in mind that the school system was not designed with different thinkers in mind can help when you approach any challenges your student may have. The modern western school system was designed originally to create factory workers. Give everyone a base level of knowledge and habits of following standards and you have a great factory workers. A more recent wrinkle in the design of schools, especially in the united States is that test scores have been tied to funding. It skews the focus creating understanding to creating good test takers. None of these structures are very well suited for the ADHD mind and how it approaches the world. There are inflexible ideas in place that can make school a real challenge when you think differently.
Depending on the level of school of your child there are different approaches needed. The following are brief ideas of how to approach school depending on your child’s level of education.