Raising kids with ADHD and other complex challenges is not exactly a cake-walk. The experts tell you everything to do, and on some days, if feels like you can't even get one thing right. But this expert has a different perspective, and you'll love what he recommends: don’t worry so much about daily tasks.
Yes, focus on treating the whole child with ADHD … by letting go – at least a little bit – of the day to day grind.
This week’s guest expert, Dr. Anil Chacko, simplifies things. Dr. Chacko wants parents to focus on the future, not everyday chores. In his words, work together as a family and “treat the WHOLE child.”
Dr. Chacko explains: “There are bigger goals that are important for kids.” While tasks such as homework and cleaning are important, the lesson isn’t just about completing the assignment. Dr. Chacko encourages parents to think a little deeper: “What is the underlying principle or value, what is it that you’re trying to teach through that activity?” In other words, help your child understand why the chore is important.
“Raising a child with ADHD requires not just all that effort in the here and now, but probably even as much effort thinking about where you want them to go long term,” Dr. Chacko shares. It’s hard for any kid to focus on long term rewards, but this is especially true for kids with ADHD and Executive Function issues. That’s why it’s important for parents to help guide our kids towards future goals, and not get hung up on daily assignments.
By focusing on goals, you will be able to motivate your kids how to discover their own values. Dr. Chacko explains: “One important habit we have to create in children is understanding what their values and priorities are, because that dictates where you’re going to put your effort and what you’re going to prioritize on a daily basis.” According to Dr. Chacko, parents want their kids to “grow up to be adults that are fully engaged in life.”
It’s hard to focus on the future, especially when today is filled with more tasks that you have time to do. But as Dr. Chacko says, “There are bigger goals that are important for kids.” And honestly, there are bigger goals for us parents, too. If you want your kid to master certain skills, focus on treatment for ADHD that focuses on the whole child, not just getting little stuff done.