Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Maintain the connection.

What you can do

Help your child focus on what you’re saying by calling him by name and making eye contact. Ask him questions while you’re talking to maintain the connection and make sure he’s paying attention.

What you can say

“Jacob, I need a couple of minutes with you to talk about the field trip on Wednesday. Thanks, it won’t take long. Would you please tell me again what your teacher said about needing to be at school earlier than usual? Thanks.”

“Do you have the list of things you need to bring? Could I get a copy right now to post on the bulletin board? Thanks. You seem excited about going. What do you think might be the best part of the trip?”

Why this will help

Children sometimes seem unable to listen and process what you’re saying even when they’re looking directly at you. This is particularly true for kids with ADHD. Asking lots of questions about how your child is preparing for a new activity can help with getting organized. And getting organized can help reduce anxiety.

By maintaining the connection with your child during these kinds of conversations, you can help focus him on the potential of a positive outcome. Many kids with ADHD wouldn’t do this kind of preparation on their own until the very last minute.

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