Have you read every parenting book in Barnes and Noble, followed every parenting influencer on Instagram and pinned all of the amazing parenting advice on Pinterest but nothing seems to stick? Perhaps things improve for days, weeks or months but eventually, you find yourself back in the same pattern of yelling, crying, bribing and blaming. Keep reading to learn about the problem with parenting books and what you can do to create lasting change.
I’ll be honest with you, my bookshelves are stuffed with the same books. And each one has some solid advice, but unfortunately, parenting, especially a child with ADHD, doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution.
Why don’t the methods work?
- Parenting with consistency is hard
- You are stuck in old patterns that preceded the birth of your chiild
- You are still holding onto what you thought parenting would be instead of accepting what is
- Comparing yourself and your family to someone else’s normal
- Expectations that are too high for yourself and your child
- Your child has ADHD and typical parenting advice will not work
So, What Will Work?
Well, the answer to that question is impossible to answer. I can’t give you a foolproof plan, but I can offer some things to consider.
Instead of thinking about what your child needs to change, think about what you need to change.
- Explore why things make you crazy is important. You will have to do some serious self-reflection. It is through this process, that you will discover your triggers.
- When my child does (behavior you don’t like) I feel ( emotion ) because ( reason or trigger for Emotion ).
- For example – When my child tantrums I feel embarassed because I think people are judging me.
- Many of the things that trigger us are old beliefs that we are hanging onto from our own childhoods. Working with a coach is a great way to identify these beliefs so you can change your thinking.
- Adjust what normal means for your family
- Comparing what you think your family should look like based on what you see on Facebook or your sister or neighbor with inevitably leave you feeling like a failure. What is right for your family with not be the same as anyone else. Not to mention, your complex child’s thoughts and needs require a different approach to parenting.
Parent the child you have in a way that works for you. This might mean accomodating when necessary and providing extra support when needed.
- Adjust your expectations for yourself and your child. Areas where you might need to change your expectations might be:
- Your schedule
- Letting go of perfect
- Being right
- What your child is capable of doing – your child’s emotional age might not meet their chronological age or intelectual capabilities. Children with ADHD might need more assitance to do things consistently. Learning to scaffold things until they master something is key.
- What it means to be a “good” parent, child, student, etc
Connecting Instead of Correcting
- I can’t stress enough how important this is for your child. Too often we get caught up in trying to impart our knowledge onto our children. We are constantly explaining and correcting our children which isn’t what they need when they are having a hard time.
- Simply taking the time to accept your child and enjoy them without judgement will have a huge impact on your relationship.
- When they are upset instead of lecturing or telling them not to be upset, just give them a hug and ask how you can help.
Problem Solve with your child not for your child. Find the why behind the behavior.
- There is always a reason behind big behaviors. Is your child overwhelmed, overstimulated, hungry, lonely, tired, dealing with issues at school… This reason is unique to your child and you cannot uncover it without working through it with your child.
- For example – if your child is not handing in homework you might assume it is because they are not completing it or they just don’t care. But if you problem solve with your child, you might discover that the current system for returning homework doesn’t work for them so they forget to turn it in.
- Dr. Ross Greene wrote one of my favorite parenting books. In The Explosive Child, he explains that a child will do well if they can. Children want to make good decisions but something is causing a problem. Work with them and discover the problem and let them create solutions that will work for them. (This is one parenting book I highly recommend!)
Not Sure How to Begin?
Working with an ADHD Parenting Coach is a great way to work through these issues and create the relationship you truly want with your child.
Schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation call to learn about how I can help you and your family create a happier home.
Learn more about my Parent Coaching Program.