Parent Coaching for Children with ADHD
Parent Coaching is a great way to help your youngling child with ADHD. You can provide the structure and routines to help your child become his or her best self. There's no one better suited than you-- no one cares as much or will work as hard for your child. So why shouldn't you be armed to the teeth with all the resources you can muster?
It's pretty straightforward:
- You and I meet to talk over the improvements you want for your family
- A priority focus goal will emerge, and we'll make a concrete plan to improve it
- You try it with your family
- We meet to report back to me how it is going and any other new developments
- We adjust our plan and briefly address other urgent topics
- Sprinkle in brain science, rinse & repeat
+ A few benefits of ADHD Parent Coaching
Understanding WHY your kids act that way
Perspective changes a lot. For example, understanding why a child is more likely to throw a tantrum at Disneyland can help you try to prevent it AND keep your cool if it happens despite your best efforts. Understanding your child's brain can make a huge difference in your relationship.
Building better habits
There are a lot of habits and systems that you can put in place to help your child not just survive, but thrive. Some of them are shockingly simple tricks. We just need to train you to start at the right time. Spot the warning signs early so you can prevent problems before they start.
Gaining a teammate
I'm on your side. We both have the same goal-- to see your child thrive and lower your stress. There's plenty of research showing the impact of parent stress on children. As your teammate, you can safely vent some of your frustrations to me. Then we can create a concrete plan for taking control and helping your child flourish. If we need to try something else, that's okay. I'll be here for you. We want to find what works.
+ How old should a child be for ADHD Parent Coaching?
This is most effective for school age children. As a child matures, if they want help taking on more personal responsibility, they may graduate into individual, one-on-one coaching.
+ Does my child need to come?
Usually, no. I usually prefer the child we’re discussing not be present. It's too easy to accidentally talk about them in the third person. But occasionally something we're working on might benefit from your child's help:
You can observe me with your child. For example, if your child is struggling to start on a school project, I could walk through it with them. This would help me understand your child better and you could watch someone else tackle a similar problem. The latter is often helpful all by itself, but I also do have a unique ability to see the why of kids' behavior.
Some kids benefit from a little direct coaching, either because I need more information from their perspective or because they need a little help to get out of negative behavior patterns and enable you to work with them directly. With one child who became rather emotional when she had to quit a fun activity, we talked about what would make that easier. Then we actually practiced leaving a fun activity and trying our plan out. Over and over again.
In these cases, I like to tell the children that they're helping to train you. It's mostly true, but it also sounds more fun and less judgmental.
But it's ultimately my goal to work with you. You know better than anyone what you want for your child.
+ Why trust me?
I know kid brains. I received Bachelor Degrees in both Early Childhood Development and in Psychology. My Master’s Degree was in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Brain Development Lab at the University of Oregon’s Psychology Department.
My graduate thesis was on parenting. It discussed how parents improved after participating in a parenting intervention. Our Laboratory's intervention had found previously that there was a greater impact to improve children's attention by indirectly working with parents than by directly training children's attention. In my thesis I dug deeper to explore which parent behaviors were actually improving following a modified parenting intervention.
I know ADHD brains. I was diagnosed, myself, while double majoring in Child Development and Psychology. I used every opportunity to study more about how my brain worked differently, and why. Initially, it was so I could do my best in school-- like a cheat sheet. But I became very interested in individual differences in cognitive performance, using my own, rather unique, brain as a template to understand more, faster. For graduate study, I chose to join Helen Neville's Brain Development Lab, where they specialized in the neuroplasticity of attention. I continued to take courses and select topics that would allow me to learn more about what makes my brain different.
Fun Fact I started working with children at Disneyland, where I interacted one-on-one for 4 years, observing parent child dynamics at the “Happiest Place on Earth”.