Quick Tip

Get Cooperation, Not Explosions, when Giving Directions


We ALL need to direct and re-direct our kids’ behavior sometimes. The challenge is that when they have ADHD, they are CONSTANTLY being redirected – by you, their teachers, their siblings, their friends. They get a little tired of it, you know?

I know you get tired of it, too, right?!

So here’s a quick 4 step process (and some helpful language) to help you Give Directions and Re-Direct Behaviors so that you GET COOPERATION instead of explosions.  

1. Acknowledge your Child’s Experience.

When asking them to do something: “I know you’re in the middle of a game and it’s a pain in the neck to get interrupted…”

When reminding them: “I know you absolutely meant to reload the dishwasher and that it probably slipped your mind…”

2. Show Compassion (and gratitude when appropriate).

When asking them to do something: “I hate it when I get interrupted, too – I’m sorry to have to stop you in the middle, but I really appreciate your taking care of this now.”

When reminding them: “It’s gotta be really frustrating when you mean to do something and then forget. I know you didn’t forget on purpose.”

3. Get Curious.

When asking them to do something: “So do you want to stop now and take care of this? Or do you want to wait for a natural stopping point in a few minutes?”

When reminding them: “So what do you think you might do differently, next time?”

4. Guide them to Action with Accountability.

When asking them to do something: (playfully) “Great. How do you want to make sure you make it happen?”

When reminding them: “I know you may not know what to do differently— that’s okay, it’s hard. Why don’t we brainstorm together and come up with a few options for you to try?”

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