There are so many challenges that parents face when a child is diagnosed with ADHD, that it can be difficult to find the silver lining – to identify a child's ADHD Advantage. We all want to play to our child's strengths – intrinsically, we know that makes sense. But it can be hard to find when the dishes are still on the table, the clothes are still on the floor, the homework is still not done, and our child is making a rube-Goldberg out of yarn, marbles and masking tape in the living room!
But when outrageously successful entrepreneurs like Peter Shankman talk about the ADHD advantage, they make it sound almost easy. It offers hope and possibility to parents who are struggling to raise really interesting, fascinating, and infuriating kids.
In this interview, Shankman talks about simplifying options and what he calls the “elimination of extras.” He actually argues that too many choices can be difficult for the ADHD brain to manage, so he self-manages through a process of “Elimination of Choice.” He only has two kinds of “outfits” that he wears, for example, to make it really easy to get dressed in the morning. He sleeps in his workout clothes (though somehow, when he talks about it, it's not as gross as it sounds here), and he eliminated alcohol from his life to avoid the inevitable hangovers that follow. He only makes some decisions on Saturdays, and once he commits to something, he follows through (no matter what) – he doesn't allow for negotiation with himself.
On the surface, it sounds kind of rigid – many parents won't be able to imagine their kids exhibiting this kind of will-power. BUT that's because we tend to think about imposing these kinds of measures on our kids. What if, instead, we slowly but surely begin to teach them to CHOOSE it for themselves? What a difference it could make if our kids were choosing to simplify because it works for THEM.
So if you're looking for a way to use ADHD to its full advantage with your kids, check out this interview with one of the great role models in the ADHD world for doing just that – celebrating the ADHD advantage!