𝗛𝗞𝘄 ð—―ð—Ūð—ŋð—ēð—ŧ𝘁𝘀 ð—ąð—ķ𝘀ð—ēð—šð—―ð—žð˜„ð—ēð—ŋ 𝘁ð—ĩð—ēð—ķð—ŋ 𝗰ð—ĩð—ķð—đð—ą ð—Ŋ𝘆 ð—ąð—ēð—ģð—ķð—ŧð—ķð—ŧð—ī 𝘁ð—ĩð—ē𝗚 ð—Ŋ𝘆 𝘁ð—ĩð—ē ð—Ūð—ąð˜ƒð—ēð—ŋ𝘀ð—ķ𝘁𝘆 𝘁ð—ĩð—ē𝘆 ð—ĩð—Ū𝘃ð—ē ð—ģð—Ū𝗰ð—ēð—ą. - ADHD Dude - Ryan Wexelblatt

ryan-wexelblatt-adhd-dude-parenting-course

I had worked at a private school for students with learning differences where I was a Counselor and Director of the school’s summer camp program.

During my time there I got to know the family of one of the students as she entered the school in the summer thus I was one of the first points of contact for the family. "Rachel" came to the school after an incident at her public school that left the school district in a position of liability.

Rachel had sometimes struggled in elementary school as a result of inflexibility. The incident that prompted the school district to pay for Rachel’s tuition at my school (extremely rare for this district who will not stand down to demanding parents) was when Rachel was dragged down the hall of the school by a classroom aide to a "time out" room.

Obviously this was an unfortunate incident that never should have happened. What struck me about Rachel was the fact that she didn’t seem to be phased by it. As I got to know Rachel and her parents I shared with them that I thought it was interesting that Rachel never brought up the incident that occurred in public school.

The response Rachel’s mother gave me was so rare, and so perfect that I clearly remember it, 11 years later:

“𝘐ð˜ĩ ð˜ļð˜Ēð˜ī ð˜Ē ð˜Đ𝘰ð˜ģð˜ģ𝘊ð˜Ģ𝘭ð˜Ķ 𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ī𝘊ð˜Ĩð˜Ķð˜Ŋð˜ĩ, 𝘐’ð˜Ū ð˜Ļ𝘭ð˜Ēð˜Ĩ ð˜īð˜Đð˜Ķ’ð˜ī 𝘰ð˜ķð˜ĩ 𝘰𝘧 ð˜ĩð˜Đð˜Ķð˜ģe. 𝘐’ð˜Ū ð˜Ŋ𝘰ð˜ĩ ð˜Ļ𝘰𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ ð˜ĩ𝘰 ð˜Ĩð˜Ķ𝘧𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ķ 𝘙ð˜Ēð˜Īð˜Đð˜Ķ𝘭 ð˜Ģ𝘚 ð˜Đð˜Ķð˜ģ ð˜Ķð˜đð˜ąð˜Ķð˜ģ𝘊ð˜Ķð˜Ŋð˜Īð˜Ķ ð˜Ēð˜ĩ ð˜ĩð˜Đð˜Ēð˜ĩ ð˜īð˜Īð˜Đ𝘰𝘰𝘭. 𝘚ð˜Đð˜Ķ ð˜ģð˜Ķð˜Ē𝘭𝘭𝘚 ð˜Ĩ𝘰ð˜Ķð˜īð˜Ŋ’ð˜ĩ ð˜Ģð˜ģ𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ 𝘊ð˜ĩ ð˜ķð˜ą ð˜Ēð˜Ŋð˜Ĩ 𝘐’ð˜Ū ð˜Ŋ𝘰ð˜ĩ ð˜Ļ𝘰𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ ð˜ĩ𝘰 𝘎ð˜Ķð˜Ķð˜ą ð˜ģð˜Ķð˜Ū𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ĩ𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ ð˜Đð˜Ķð˜ģ 𝘰𝘧 𝘊ð˜ĩ ð˜Ģð˜Ķð˜Īð˜Ēð˜ķð˜īð˜Ķ ð˜ļð˜Đð˜Ēð˜ĩ ð˜Ī𝘰ð˜Ŋð˜īð˜ĩð˜ģð˜ķð˜Īð˜ĩ𝘊𝘷ð˜Ķ ð˜ąð˜ķð˜ģð˜ąð˜°ð˜īð˜Ķ ð˜ļ𝘰ð˜ķ𝘭ð˜Ĩ ð˜ĩð˜Đð˜Ēð˜ĩ ð˜īð˜Ķð˜ģ𝘷ð˜Ķ? 𝘐 ð˜Ĩ𝘰ð˜Ŋ’ð˜ĩ ð˜ļð˜Ēð˜Ŋð˜ĩ ð˜Đð˜Ķð˜ģ ð˜ĩ𝘰 ð˜ąð˜Ķð˜ģð˜Īð˜Ķ𝘊𝘷ð˜Ķ ð˜Đð˜Ķð˜ģð˜īð˜Ķ𝘭𝘧 ð˜Ēð˜ī ð˜Ē 𝘷𝘊ð˜Īð˜ĩ𝘊ð˜Ū 𝘰𝘧 ð˜Ī𝘊ð˜ģð˜Īð˜ķð˜Ūð˜īð˜ĩð˜Ēð˜Ŋð˜Īð˜Ķ, 𝘐 ð˜ļð˜Ēð˜Ŋð˜ĩ ð˜Đð˜Ķð˜ģ ð˜ĩ𝘰 ð˜īð˜Ķð˜Ķ ð˜Đð˜Ķð˜ģð˜īð˜Ķ𝘭𝘧 ð˜Ēð˜ī ð˜ģð˜Ķð˜ī𝘊𝘭𝘊ð˜Ķð˜Ŋð˜ĩ ð˜Ēð˜Ŋð˜Ĩ ð˜Īð˜Ēð˜ąð˜Ēð˜Ģ𝘭ð˜Ķ 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘷ð˜Ķð˜ģð˜Ī𝘰ð˜Ū𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ ð˜Ēð˜Ĩ𝘷ð˜Ķð˜ģð˜ī𝘊ð˜ĩ𝘚.”

This excellent response by Rachel’s mother is the opposite of what I have sometimes heard from parents throughout my career working in this field.

When parents defines their child by the adversity he or she has faced it sends the message that they are fragile, rather than “anti-fragile”. In some cases, I've found that this narrative was creative by a mental health professional and the parents latched onto it. When parents do this it denies their child the opportunity to see himself/herself as resilient because their parents are sending the message that "𝘚𝘰ð˜ķ ð˜Ēð˜ģð˜Ķ ð˜Ŋ𝘰ð˜ĩ ð˜ģð˜Ķð˜ī𝘊𝘭𝘊ð˜Ķð˜Ŋð˜ĩ ð˜Ēð˜Ŋð˜Ĩ 𝘐 ð˜ļ𝘊𝘭𝘭 ð˜Ĩð˜Ķ𝘧𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ķ 𝘚𝘰ð˜ķ ð˜Ģ𝘚 ð˜ĩð˜Đð˜Ķ ð˜Ēð˜Ĩ𝘷ð˜Ķð˜ģð˜ī𝘊ð˜ĩ𝘚 𝘚𝘰ð˜ķ ð˜Ķð˜đð˜ąð˜Ķð˜ģ𝘊ð˜Ķð˜Ŋð˜Īð˜Ķ". I have witnessed families who do this through trying to protect their son/daughter's feelings (often at the expense of learning accountability), avoid placing demands on them, becoming confrontational with teachers who hold them accountable and justify their child's poor behaviors through a narrative that defines their child by adversity.

𝗜ð—ģ 𝘆𝗞𝘂 𝘄ð—Ūð—ŧ𝘁 𝘁𝗞 ð—ŋð—Ūð—ķ𝘀ð—ē ð—Ū ð—ļð—ķð—ą 𝘄ð—ĩ𝗞 𝘀ð—ēð—ē𝘀 ð—ĩð—ķ𝗚𝘀ð—ēð—đð—ģ/ð—ĩð—ēð—ŋ𝘀ð—ēð—đð—ģ ð—Ū𝘀 ð—ŋð—ē𝘀ð—ķð—đð—ķð—ēð—ŧ𝘁 ð—Ūð—ŧð—ą 𝗰ð—Ūð—―ð—Ūð—Ŋð—đð—ē:
⚬Do not define him/her by the adversity he/she has faced. Your son/daughter has the right to define himself/herself and create his/her own story.
⚬Regularly point out when he/she has shown resiliency, capabilities and independent problem solving skills. Kids' confidence does not develop from empty praise such as "great job" or from constant reassurance. It develops through kids recognizing their strengths and capabilities on their own. For kids with executive functioning challenges we often need to point this out and draw parallels between past successes and new/future challenges due to their difficulty with episodic memory. (You can read about episodic memory in older posts, it's also a concept I teach how to build in Executive Function Crash Course for Parents Webinar series)
⚬Teach that he/she is “anti-fragile” not fragile, meaning that challenging life experiences do not define us, rather they are help us to recognize our abilities.
.⚬Be mindful of language you use with your kids. Several months ago I heard a parent say “The trauma of virtual learning”. I corrected her by explaining that sitting in the place you feel safest (your home), amongst the people you feel safest with (your family) is not “trauma”. (𝘐 𝘧𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ĩ ð˜ĩð˜Đð˜Ķ ð˜ļ𝘰ð˜ģð˜Ĩ "ð˜ĩð˜ģð˜Ēð˜ķð˜Ūð˜Ē" 𝘊ð˜ī ð˜Ģð˜Ķ𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ ð˜ķð˜īð˜Ķð˜Ĩ ð˜ĩ𝘰𝘰 𝘭𝘊ð˜Ģð˜Ķð˜ģð˜Ē𝘭𝘭𝘚 ð˜ĩ𝘰ð˜Ĩð˜Ē𝘚 ð˜ļð˜Đ𝘊ð˜Īð˜Đ 𝘊ð˜ī ð˜Ĩ𝘊ð˜īð˜Ķð˜Ūð˜ąð˜°ð˜ļð˜Ķð˜ģ𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ 𝘊ð˜Ŋ 𝘊ð˜ĩð˜īð˜Ķ𝘭𝘧.
⚬Acknowledge that your kids needs to learn from other adults besides you and they need to be held accountable by other adults in order to learn how to deal with having demands placed on them. If you are unwilling to give your kids the space to have relationships with adults in their life who can teach and support them (teachers, school counselors, coaches, etc.) I encourage you to ask yourself if this is based in your own fears, your need to feel needed, or both. Parent-child co-dependency is something I sometimes see in this field.
⚬Picture your son 20 years from now, do you want him to define him/herself by the adversity he faced when younger or do you want to start empowering him now with the message that he is capable, resilient and can successfully get through adversity in life?

👉ð—Ķð—ķð—īð—ŧ ð˜‚ð—― ð—ģ𝗞ð—ŋ 𝘁ð—ĩð—ē 𝗔𝗗𝗛𝗗 ð——ð˜‚ð—ąð—ē 𝗚ð—Ūð—ķð—đð—ķð—ŧð—ī ð—đð—ķ𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗞 ð—ĩð—Ū𝘃ð—ē ð—―ð—ŋð—ķ𝗞ð—ŋð—ķ𝘁𝘆 ð—ŋð—ēð—īð—ķ𝘀𝘁ð—ŋð—Ū𝘁ð—ķ𝗞ð—ŧ ð—ģ𝗞ð—ŋ 𝗚𝘆 ð˜‚ð—―ð—°ð—žð—šð—ķð—ŧð—ī 𝘄ð—ēð—Ŋð—ķð—ŧð—Ūð—ŋ 𝘀ð—ēð—ŋð—ķð—ē𝘀, 𝙍𝙖𝙞ð™Ļ𝙞ð™Ģ𝙜 𝙂𝙧𝙚𝙖ð™Đ ð˜ŋ𝙊𝙙𝙚ð™Ļ, a parent behavior management program that will empower you to help your son become confident, capable, and resilient: https://www.subscribepage.com/adhddude
(𝘗ð˜Đ𝘊𝘭ð˜Ēð˜Ĩð˜Ķð˜­ð˜ąð˜Đ𝘊ð˜Ē-ð˜Ēð˜ģð˜Ķð˜Ē & 𝘚𝘰ð˜ķð˜ĩð˜Đ 𝘑ð˜Ķð˜ģð˜īð˜Ķ𝘚 ð˜Ūð˜Ē𝘊𝘭𝘊ð˜Ŋð˜Ļ 𝘭𝘊ð˜īð˜ĩð˜ī ð˜Ē𝘷ð˜Ē𝘊𝘭ð˜Ēð˜Ģ𝘭ð˜Ķ ð˜Ēð˜ĩ www.adhddude.com)

Comments