Sharon Saline knows a thing or two about what complex kids want. A clinical psychologist, she has interviewed kids with ADHD about what they want their parents to do differently. The author of the upcoming book, What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life, in this guest expert interview Sharon lets us in on 5 common desires she's heard from kids of all ages.
Each of these tips are pretty simple, but they can really help your child (and you!) out when you make the decision to use them.
For example, the second tip she shares in this interview can easily get lost in the day-to-day realities of parenting a complex kid. She explains, simply put: it's important to understand how hard your kids are working. Sharon refers to "efforting" as the ability to decide where and how to manage your efforts, and it is not easy for children with ADHD. "They don't need you to bake them a cake," she says, "but they need you to notice that they're making efforts in the direction they're supposed to be going in."
Effort recognition comes up again in tip #5 when she explains that your kids really do care about what you think, even if sometimes it might seem like that isn't the case. "No matter how much they act otherwise," Sharon says, "in dozens of kids [I have spoken to], not one of them has said 'I don't care what my parents or my teachers think'."
Whether talking to parents about managing their own feelings, or encouraging them to include their kids into decision-making, this expert interview is a wealth of information – and an all-around great conversation. As you listen to all 5 items on a Sharon's "to do" list for parents of kids with ADHD, you'll have a much better sense of what your kid with ADHD wants you to do differently -- and take another step forward on the path to helping you and your complex kid continue to thrive.