Quick TipChoose Your Words Wisely


This week, in honor of ADHD Awareness Week, we’ve opted to run some ImpactADHD favorites. These are Cathy and Tishia’s favorite posts. What are yours?

My 13-year-old gets credit for this one. The other night, when I asked him to do his homework, he said, “Mom, instead of saying ‘do your homework,’ you should say ‘start your homework.’  That way it will be less overwhelming for me.”

First, it’s amazing when they start to “get it!” He immediately said, “Hey, that should be a tip you use for other parents!”

Also, it’s amazing how simple, yet profound some of these changes can be.  Here’s a few others that I think can also be helpful.

  • Say “after” not “if” (See Elaine’s coaching tip) For example, “You can go outside after you put the clothes away in your room.”
  • Be specific requests. Note that “put your clothes away” is easier to manage than “clean your room.”
  • Avoid asking questions that start with the word “why,” like “Why did you choose that shirt?” or “Why didn’t you set the table?”  Many people hear it as judgment and immediately shut down. Try:  “That’s an interesting shirt, what made you choose it?”

Bottom line:  When you make requests, choose words that will be better heard and less overwhelming for your kid.

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