How To Parent A Child With ADHD
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Hey, welcome back to Live on Purpose TV. I’m
Dr. Paul and today, we’re talking about parenting a child with ADHD. ADHD tends to be very complicated
constellation of symptoms. There’s no blood test that we can give to examine whether your
child has ADHD. It’s really a diagnosis that is based on symptoms and what we observe on
children. The funny thing is when you look through the system list, all of them are things
that most children do at least occasionally to some level. So when we make a diagnosis
of ADHD, it’s because many of this symptoms are appearing at a level that is higher than
we would expect from those kids. Having said that, think we over diagnose of it in our
society? And there are cases that we miss. But either way it’s a challenging constellation
of behaviors. Now, this video is not intended to be a diagnostic video, that’s not what
we are going today. But if you are a parent with a child with ADHD or if you suspect that
or if you don’t care about the diagnosis but you’re having some challenges with the kiddo,
that’s where I want to go today because there’s some behavioral things that we can do that
makes a huge difference. Now, let’s look at a model that I’ve shared, in some of the other
videos here in the positive parenting playlist. You want to check that out okay? Get in to
the positive parenting playlist here at Live on Purpose TV and you’ll find a host of videos
there that will help you in your parenting responsibilities. So let’s start with a quick
review of what of the most basic principles that we need to understand as parents. We’ll
talk about how that ties into ADHD as well.It goes back to this graph. You might remember
we talked before about control and maturity and how these two things interact and affect
each other. Control means control over your own life. It goes from 0 to 100% control so
you can have all of it or none of it or somewhere in between. And maturity has to do with how
grown up you are. But it’s not just about age. it’s about stage. As we talk about stage
we divided this into three chunks and it’s just I label them stage 1, stage 2 and stage
3. Now remember the last mature you are, the less control you have. The more mature you
are, the more control you have. So this part under the line is the part we get for yourself
or your kids get for themselves. The part over the line is the part that we as parents
take and the control has to be shared. Kids aren’t mature enough to take full control
of their life and that’s why we get to share that control. How mature they are, determines
how much control they get to have. Now as a quick review. Stage 1 over here on this
side of the graph, stage 1 is the least mature. And that’s where we have fighting and opposition
and defiance and tantrums and yelling and screaming and demanding. it’s a very immature
stage. These things by the way are totally appropriate for toddlers, two year olds, okay?
But if you got a 16, 17 year olds doing the same thing kind of stuff, that’s a problem.
And we call that immature. That’s stage 1.Now we move to stage 2, we stop fighting and start
cooperating. In fact, I would put cooperation right on that dividing line between stage
1 and stage 2. If your child is cooperating, they’re at least on stage 2. Stage 2 is much
more pleasant for parent and for the child. Because we’re working together. There’s a
negotiation. AT stage 2, you don’t want any trouble, you want to keep peace. And so you
go along with reasonable request. Now at stage 3, that’s where we kick in to responsibility.
That where there’s empathy and that’s an important term to remember. Empathy means that you understand
and care how someone else feels. Do you see that change the maturity of your child. When
they understand and care how someone else feels and their behavior impacts that person.
Empathy, service, morals, values, ethics.Those are the things that drive our behavior on
stage 3. So you can see when our kids get to stage 3, they get to have more control.
And we as a parent back of you see this top gets small at stage 3.Because it’s all about
self discipline and self control at that point. So, as we review that quick model of control
and maturity, it’s important to understand where our child is in that continuum. Because
that will determine what we as parents need to do and how much control we need to take.
What does this have to do with ADHD or quite frankly any other diagnosis or condition or
syndrome that our children may have. Any of those things affect the child’s maturity the
way we define it here. A kid with ADHD for example is not going to be regulating and
monitoring their own behavior and that effect like kids who don’t have ADHD. That brings
them down this way on the maturity scale which means they don’t have as much control over
themselves. That means parents need to take in and take more. Does that make sense to
you? So, what if it’s some other syndrome? What if they’ve got some kind of a developmental
or pervasive delay of some kind?Well, that also bring their maturity level down. I’m
not saying that in a judgmental way. I’m saying that in acknowledgement. That those kinds
of process is going on i a child or child’s mind, bring them to maturity scale to where
they don’t have as much as control over themselves. That means somebody else needs to kick in
with that control. Most of what I encourage parents to do with their ADHD child or as
a parent of an ADHD child is to get clear about the control and maturity exchange so
that you’re taking the right level of control as a parent. But what we want to do is encourage
our children to come this way to train, teach or educate them to have a higher level of
control of maturity so that they can run their own life more appropriately. I think our job
as parents is to work our way out of the job. So eventually they don’t need us controlling
their lives. You see where we’re going with that? So, here’s what I really like as a practical
approach and a big shout out to Foster Cline and Jim Fay authors of “Parenting with Love
and Logic”. You might be familiar with love and logic people and curriculum and the wonderful
materials that made available. Great resource for us parents and highly endorse what their
doing. The steps that Foster Cline and Jim Fay presented or suggested, mirror of these
four that I wanted to share with you today. And it has first to do with “giving them a
task”. You give a child a task that they can handle. How can you tell if your kid can handle
it? Well, this could be confusing when you’re working with ADHD or other diagnosis or syndrome
because sometimes we’re not sure if our kid can handle it. And they haven’t in the past
very well. I want to get passed the whole motivation thing or they’re motivated to do
it. And just ask the simple question, can they handle it? Are they capable of it? Here’s
a little quick shortcut to get there. If you as a parent are frustrated because they’re
not doing it, probably that means that you believe they can do it. They just not. If
you believe they can;t do it, you’re not going to be frustrated and be like, “oh yeah, my
kids are not up to that.” So your frustration will tell you something. Pay attention to
that. If you’re feeling frustrated, its probably because you’ve observed maturity or traits
or skills or behaviors in your child, that suggest maybe they can handle it and they
just not. So you give them a task, that they can handle. Now step 2 and I love this when
I thought quite Cline and Fay were brilliant when they came up with this. “You hope that
they blow it.” Hope that they’ll blow it. This goes contrary to what we are thinking
as parents but here’s how it ties in to ADHD brain. The pre frontal part of our brain is
the part that helps us to regulate our own behavior and do logic and do problem solving
and rational thought. That part might be getting a little lazy in this ADHD brains. We want
to stimulate it to wake up. One way that we do that is to do problem ownership. What I
mean by that is whoever feels the weight of the problem is the person who has it. This
is going to upset some of you as parents because who’s feeling way to the problem? You are.
That means that’s your problem still. We want to shift it from your shoulders to over to
the shoulders of your little one, okay? In an appropriate way. In a way that they can
still handle it. We want to take the problem from our own shoulders and put it back on
their shoulders because then if they own the problem, their more likely to engage that
prefrontal part of their brain to actually solve it. And kids are basically brilliant
when it comes to efficiency. Their child or adolescent mind is thinking, “hmm…should
I worry about this or should I let someone else worry about this?Oh that’s easy I’ll
let someone else worry about it because that’s easier for me. They’ll do that all they long.
When we hope that they blow it, we shift the dynamics psychologically to where they start
to take on the problem. Think about, if mom is smiling, kids are thinking. That’s a pretty
good rule of thumb. And if you hope that they blow it, you’re not going to be all anxious
about, now did you do it? You’re not going to be reminding. We call it reminding, they
call it nagging. Righting me, be it on my case, right? So you shift that dynamics. And
when mom is smilinga nd she’s like, “oh, I’m kind of hope that my kids blow this one.”
That makes kids nervous. because if you’re smiling, they’re thinking. We’re not going
to remind them. Now, remember we got two more steps so stay with me. I’m not going to leave
it hanging. Hope that they’re blowing. Now as we move to step 3, we’re going to “allow
consequences to do teaching”. Consequences and let me add a little piece here, empathy.
We already talked about empathy briefly when I got to stage 3. It has two important components
that you understand and care how someone else feels. Let’s model that for our kids. And
it’s not just that we’re going to clobber them with consequences. No the consequences
comes as the cause for their choice and for their blowing it step 2. Which is good because
we wanted them to learn something, right? When we get to step 3, we let those consequences
fall and then we kick in with empathy. Not I told you so. Not if you do what I say this
kind of thing wouldn’t happen. No, we’re not going there. It is simply empathy. “Oh wow
buddy, this is tough isn’t it? Yeah join with them and you can’t be sarcastic about this,
it won’t work. So you be genuine and connect with them in an emphatic way because they’re
liking the consequence. Okay, they don;t need to like it. I used to tell that to my kids.
Oh the good thing about living here? You don;t have to like the consequences. And they’re
like, “oh dad.” Right? But it’s true. They don’t need to like it. In fact it’s better
when they don’t because that’s going to increase the learning that use empathy. Because you
wouldn’t want that consequence either. Now, the step 4 is the powerful learning step where
we get to “give the same task again”. This sends a powerful message and think about how
this might address the issue were dealing with ADHD. And the message is, “hey you are
smart enough. You’ve got the brain power. You’ve got the problem solving ability to
learn from your mistakes. “I trust you to learn from this experience. Now let’s give
it another try.Let’s see how this goes. I’m watching with you. I got your back, right.
You mean I have to think about this? Yeah. We want you to do some thinking, Jr. Right?
because if you’re thinking, they’re not going to give in to so much trouble when they’re
not. ADHD interferes sometimes with that process and pulls us down into maturity scale. But
of you use those steps, I thin k we can make a difference for this kids with ADHD. Sounds
kind of challenging but you’re up to the challenge, you’re a good parent and I know that because
you’re here and you’re watching videos that had it be even better.

22 thoughts on “How To Parent A Child With ADHD

  1. I am pretty much constantly frustrated and it's taking a lot out of me. I feel terrible. I look at him and see him as he is. VERY smart, funny, warm, and loving. Most time I feel he's just being lazy…..but then I hear, it's not his fault, he can't help how he behaves…..SIGH
    He's also slick and can figure another way around the problem/obstacle (often times that's me) and try 'his logic' to get what he wants. And that's why I feel when he digs his heels in the ground and doesn't follow direction, it's him being lazy. IDK what to think….

  2. Hi! Thank you for all your videos! Can you give more examples of consequences that match the offense? I have a hard time finding a consequence that will teach instead of just punishing. Thank you!

  3. i gave him some more supplements, and so far it has helped. some docs say it is not neurological, it is a vitamin deficiency. I gave him more b1, magnesium, and potassium with his muti-vitamine. so if this works for you, then that just goes to show it is not a on going brain malfunction.

  4. My ADHD daughter is now 23. Although she has been in college for 5 years now and still trudging through she has kept her ‘eye on the prize’ throughout the process. I have no doubt she will complete her bachelors but just not in the same timeframe as her peers. She has also always held a job and lived on her own for a few years now. I could not be more proud of her. However, I see exactly what you are saying regarding the maturity level. She has come a long, long way but is still easily frustrated and I try to allow her to make her own decisions I sometimes still question her judgement. I sincerely appreciate this video and the visual to go along with it because even though she is 23 is still completely applies! Thank you!

  5. I came to your video looking for knowledge and am so disappointed. My 6 year old, diagnosed with ADHD, is incredibly empathetic and truly cares for others. I am embarrassed for you in watching this video. Your incredibly limited and simplistic graph focusing on “maturity” and parental “control” is a disservice to the complex nature of ADHD and the individually incredible children who are affected by it. I’m so thankful to have a team of supportive and positive professionals surrounding my child- please mommas out there -don’t waste your time with this.

  6. “It is impossible to speak to every child in a video on YouTube and that is why I use a general approach. Everyone knows that each child is unique. Glad you have found a strong support team, Kelly Robbins. Thanks for commenting.”

    When your “general approach” is demeaning and under estimates the children you apparently seek to help- you should re-think your white board model.

    Parenting a child with ADHD is no easy task and “smiling” when he fails is frankly not in line with many experts think nor what I would hope for my family or society at large. Most importantly, these kiddos and we parents need more coaching and positive reinforcement.

    You seem to want to punish kids with ADHD with your focus on “consequences”. Now, I truly believe in discipline. However, if my child had diabetes- you’d help regulate his blood sugar and he would carry insulin- correct? You wouldn’t smile while he suffered with a medical condition unaided?

    You are using the platform of YouTube as an expert. You suggest that watching these kids fail- hoping they “learn a lesson,” instead of proactively offering them tools to help them… That is your approach?

    These children are not lazy- they do not want to misbehave, or be “bad” or forget things.

    Among other things, ADHD brains require additional positive reinforcement. They need extra help with skills many take for granted. I struggle daily to remember this and to recognize my child’s strengths.

    I am incredibly, incredibly lucky to have had resources and access to great Doctors and Psychologists that have helped us navigate ADHD with our guy (although the wait for evaluation was a struggle). And it will likely never be easy.

    In watching your video, I’m thinking of frustrated, exhausted caretakers- who want the best for their kids who are exhibiting symptoms of ADHD. They are obviously looking for help, as I was. I have NEVER written a comment on a YouTube channel, but
    based on this video you have sold these kids short and marginalized a real psychological disorder- there are better “general approaches”.

  7. Thanks for the video! ADHD has been one of the hardest things to deal with as a child, more importantly when I was trying to learn how to read. I will never forget the first day of school, looking around and seeing everyone else beginning to grasp reading so quickly… Except me 😢

    Never felt so alone before. Can anyone else relate?

    Apologies for chiming in, I am interested in your initial thoughts about something regarding my kids. Have you heard the talk about ADHDSoldiers.com and their Reading Head Start program? It is an awesome one-off guide for teaching children with ADHD to read supposedly. I've heard some incredible things about it and I'm on the lookout for something just like this for my own children as they are set to begin school soon 🙏

  8. I'm struggling and my son with adhd is really struggling. How can I help him to want to go to school and like and enjoy going to school. He says and he feels that he hates school. He has a lot of anger as well. He is 6 years old in kindergarten and we are going to a neurologist but are in the figuring out if he has other issues. I just want to help him.

  9. i m from pakistan i have only one kid son he is suffering from same behavior doctor recommended risp syrpe but it is a drug what to do 5.5 years old

  10. I enjoy your video. My child is about 2 -3 years old and We went to a meeting with the Kinder garden and they suggest a difficult behaviour and others symptoms. It's sounds like ADHD..It's early maybe, but I want to help my kids. Thank you so much. Hugs from Norway ❤❤

  11. I had a 9 year old child with anti social disability. since he was 5 years old I know he had a problem to undergo for a long time. please let me know how and what to do to enhance writing skills,behavior and no focus. few respect to older people.

  12. My 3 yo daughter know that we need to poo on potty but still not siting on toilet when forced to sit she started crying. But she pee. What to do? She is minimal verbal.

  13. ADHD IS A GOVERNMENT MONEY SCHEME AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR CHILDREN….BEWARE OF "PROFFESSIONALS" KIDS ARE KIDS AND LET THEM BE AND NEVER SPOIL YOUR KID OR MEDICATE THEM EITHER….ITS ALL A BIG MONEY SCHEME… schools are in on it therapist erring on at hospitals are in on it all these mental health clinics are in on it psychologists are in on it they're all part of the gears in the machine that oil each other to keep the money making machine alive this system totally messed up our daughter it made a living nightmare for us to deal with mental health it's a never-ending cycle with these professionals it just keeps saying the same dumb s*** protect your kids from government

  14. What are you talking about? You obviously are very lost. Adhd is a serious neurological disorder. My son has adhd with sensory processing issues and it was a nightmare until he started behavioral therapy with concerta meds at 5 years. He is now more settled and focused. Without meds adhd remains untreated and ruins you and the child's life. So you cannot reason through adhd, it must be treated.

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