Quick Tip

Compassion is a Cornerstone of ADHD Management


Compassion is the expression of sympathetic concern for another's difficulties. On the surface, it seems too simple to be a coaching tip – shouldn't we all have compassion for our kids? But it's actually a helpful strategy. Hear me out.

As parents, we tend to get frustrated when our kids act like kids – even neuro-typical kids. It can be maddening when they tie their shoes at a snail's pace, or cry over something as simple as spilled milk, or behave immaturely in the car.

That is exacerbated when kids aren't even behaving as maturely as other kids their age, as is often the case with ADD/ADHD kids. “Why can't they just…” is our common refrain.

So take a few minutes to put yourself in your child's place. What do you think it feels like to struggle with the motor coordination of tying a shoe, or carrying a plate and glass to the table (when your same-age peers have already mastered the skill)? What must it feel like to know you have a big report to do, but have no clue how to get started (while your best friend – if you have one – is already half way done)? How would you handle the frustration of knowing you're disappointing your parents, but feeling powerless to change it?

As parents, how we approach our kids' challenges sets the tone for how they learn to manage themselves. Your compassion will teach them to be more patient with themselves, and allow them to try harder without feeling like a failure. Give it a try. If nothing else, it feels better to feel compassion for your child than to constantly feel annoyed!

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