5 Tips to Coach Your Teen To Ask for Help

<p class=”p1″>When your teen needs help, does she ask for it? Or does she pretend to <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/maintain-healthy-relationships/what-to-do-when-your-teen-says-dont-worry-ive-got-it/”><span class=”s1″>have all the answers</span></a> when she’s actually feeling frustrated and helpless?</p><p class=”p3″>As parents, it’s natural for us to jump in and solve our kid’s problems. We’ve been doing it all their lives. But at some point, we have to <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/organize-your-life-and-family/getting-unstuck-it-depends-on-your-point-of-view/”><span class=”s1″>teach them to help themselves</span></a>.</p><p class=”p3″>How do we shift from “fix it” mode to “support” mode? </p><p class=”p3″>Here are 5 tips to navigate what tend to be emotionally charged moments:<br /><br /><br /><strong>1. Don’t offer solutions</strong></p><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Use a coach-approach. <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/manage-emotions-and-impulses/ask-questions/”><span class=”s1″>Ask questions</span></a> instead of offering solutions. This makes your teen part of the problem-solving process.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”>For example, if your teen is stuck on a homework project you might ask:</div><ul class=”ol1″><li class=”li3″><i>“Tell me what you know up to the point where you’re feeling stuck?”</i></li><li class=”li3″><i>“Who do you know who might understand this?” </i></li><li class=”li3″><i>”Have you ever done this or something similar before?”</i> Then, “<i>What did you do last time?” </i></li><li class=”li3″><i>”Suppose you had all the information you needed, what would the next step/s be?” </i></li><li class=”li3″>”<i>Let’s imagine you’re really excited about this. What would you do?”</i></li><li class=”li3″><i>”From where you are now, what would be a next step that you could feel good about?” </i></li><li class=”li3″><i>”What do you need to do before you do anything else?” </i></li><li class=”li3″><i>”What one small step could you take to move forward?”</i></li></ul><br /><strong>2. Give your teen conversation starters</strong><br /><p class=”p5″ style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Here are <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/manage-emotions-and-impulses/teach-your-kids-to-stop-asking-questions/”><span class=”s1″>some ways to ask for help</span></a> without using the word “help”:</p><ul class=”ul1″><li class=”li3″><i>“I’m trying to…but I’m confused.” </i></li><li class=”li3″><i>“This is what I’ve got so far.” </i></li><li class=”li3″><i>“What do you think of this?” </i></li><li class=”li3″><i>“Am I on the right track?” </i></li><li class=”li8″><i>”I’m sorry, I think I misheard you…”</i></li><li class=”li8″><i>”I’m a bit unclear with that explanation…”</i></li><li class=”li8″><i>”I think I might have missed something while I was taking notes here…</i></li></ul><br /><strong>3.<span class=”Apple-tab-span”> </span>Teach that those with authority are real people</strong><br /><p class=”p5″ style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Teens can be intimidated by authority figures. Ever hear, “My teacher doesn’t like me.” Or “My teacher wants me to fail.”</p><p class=”p9″ style=”padding-left: 30px;”><span class=”s3″>Ask your teen what she knows about a teacher, coach, or other professional. Many teachers and coaches share personal tidbits. <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/maintain-healthy-relationships/dont-talk-with-kids-about-school/”><span class=”s4″>Focus on this person as a real person</span></a></span>, someone who: has kids of their own, loves dogs, runs marathons, just got married, etc.</p><p class=”p11″ style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Questions to ask your teen:</p><ul class=”ul1″><li class=”li12″><i>“Has your teacher encouraged you to come chat when you’re stuck?” </i></li><li class=”li12″><i>Think about it. Your teacher doesn’t want to look bad, and how well his students perform tells others he is really a good teacher. So do you think it’s really true that he wants you to fail?”</i></li></ul><br /><strong>4.<span class=”Apple-tab-span”> </span>Reframe “Help” </strong><br /><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Your teen thinks she <i>should</i> be able to do everything herself, or that by admitting she needs help, she is weak.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />Gently remind your teen that <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/manage-emotions-and-impulses/im-a-recovering-perfectionist-want-to-join-me/”><span class=”s1″>perfect doesn’t exist</span></a>. It is unrealistic. It sets her up to fail. Getting support sets her up to succeed.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />Help her see asking for help as a strength. It takes courage to admit you don’t know. In order to seek help, you need to be strong enough to accept that you aren’t perfect.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />No one person is good at everything. If you expect to get straight A’s in all your subjects, it’s probably unrealistic. It’s possible, but you will struggle in some subjects more than others.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />Help your teen identify her <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/maintain-healthy-relationships/success-with-addadhd-a-strength-based-approach/”><span class=”s1″>strengths</span></a> and accept being a mere mortal.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />And here’s the hardest part: to do this well, you will have to model it for her, which means accepting your own imperfections, and learning to ask for – and accept – help when YOU need it!<br /><br /><br /></div><div><strong>5.<span class=”Apple-tab-span”> </span>Take the focus off of your teen</strong></div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />Everyone needs support. You’re teen may believe she is the only person who needs help, or she’s been helped her entire life and she just wants to do it on her own.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />Share how you get help and identify where successful people get help.</div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />For example, a general contractor needs framers, painters, accountants, cabinet-makers and lots of other skilled people to build houses. They all support the contractor and his business. </div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />Does that make the contractor weak? No, it makes him smart and successful. </div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />Ask your teen to name one person she admires. Ask her who supports this person and how. </div><div style=”padding-left: 30px;”><br />This will help “normalize” help for your teen.</div><p class=”p1″>Help is a profound gift, and asking for help is a sign of strength. Part of being a whole human being, a mature human being, really <a href=”http://www.impactadhd.com/maintain-healthy-relationships/lessons-teach-teens-leave-home/”><span class=”s1″>showing up like a grown-up</span></a>—in relationships, in school, at work– is being able to help ourselves by tapping into others.</p>

Organize Your Life and FamilyAll ADHD Articles