Quick Tip

Replace Shame with Understanding


The Problem With Threats

Often parents use the "stick" instead of the carrot – threats, idle warnings, taking things away. I often get calls from parents who say, "I just don't know what to do anymore. There's nothing left for me to take away, and my son/daughter doesn't seem to care at all!"

Shame, guilt, threats – these don't tend to work for ADHD kids. If anything, they can reinforce their negative self image and make it that much harder for kids to get their stuff done. If they feel like they're just going to fail anyway, why bother?

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Where To Start?

It's hard for us parents to understand that our kids aren't really avoiding work just to be rude, difficult, or disrespectful. They don't have a mechanism to get themselves activated, and trust me – they already find that a little embarrassing. They certainly don't need us reminding them all the time, much less making them feel bad about it! We must be clear when the challenge is naughty, and when it's neurological – and treat it accordingly.

So here's the tip – START with understanding and compassion, and try everything you can to stop the shame game. It's not helping your child perform any better, and more than likely, it's damaging your relationship.


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