Asking for what you want is a lot more difficult than it sounds. It actually involves executive function AND intentionality – both of which can be challenge areas for people with ADHD. So not only is it an important habit for parents, but it’s a great skill to model for and teach your kids.
Let’s look at it. First, you must clearly identify what you want – and that’s often a challenge. It requires decisiveness, decision-making, focus, prioritization. Think about how often no one wants to decide what to make for dinner, or where to go out to eat. THEN, you have to ask for something, and that requires mood management, emotional control, activation, even working memory (what was it I wanted to ask you, again?).
But here’s the thing. When you don’t ask for what you want, it’s a lot harder to get it. Sometimes it’s going to fall into your lap. But more often than not, when we sit on our urges, we miss opportunities.
So keep it simple, and see what happens. Ask for help unloading the dishwasher, or advice on an outfit you’re wearing, or a hug after a long day. Today I asked my teenager to snuggle with me. Sure, she rolled her eyes… but she did it with a smile all the way to my lap. I got what I wanted. I suspect she did, too (but shhh, don’t tell anyone, she might lose her teenage union card!).