Using a Coach-Approach in Parenting

Parenting ADHD kids can be stressful, overwhelming, isolating and frustrating. It’s complicated, and often unclear where you as a parent need to focus. Is it school-work? Is it respect at home? Is it everything at once? There are so many different options for treatment. How do you decide what to do next?

While there are no easy answers when raising kids with ADHD, Parent Coaching can guide parents through the complex maze of decision-making.

In the past, parent options for support were limited to therapy, consulting, and education. Research shows that parent training is a helpful component of any ADHD treatment plan. However, poor parent compliance – that is, a parent’s inability to follow through with recommendations in the training -reduces its overall benefit. (Dr. Russell Barkley).

Parent Coaching addresses the issue of compliance directly by offering an accountability structure for parents to take the information available to them and turn it into constructive action. When Parent Coaching & Training are combined, it offers a new kind of practical support that focuses on the parent and provides a positive environment for effective parenting.

Parent Coaching can help in 3 ways:
First, coaching enables parents to more effectively manage their kids. In particular, a Parent Coach works with a parent of an ADHD kid to:

– Identify needs, set goals, and offer guidance

– Provide support and structure

– Develop skills that work with ADHD kids

– Improve family communication

– Educate the family about the impact of ADHD

– Work with other professionals for coordination of services

– Promote self-esteem and confidence

Next, in addition to supporting parents, parent coaching teaches a style of communication that is particularly helpful in managing complex kids. Coaches are masters of conversation. They help people accept personal responsibility, learn flexibility, adapt to new situations and hold themselves accountable.

When parents learn these skills and use them with their children, it’s incredibly effective! At ImpactADHD, we call this the “Coach-Approach to Conscious Parenting.” We know from our own personal experience that it can make a powerful difference for families, and significantly increase parents’ enjoyment in raising their kids (which is not to be underestimated!).

The coach-approach is accepting, motivating, non-judgmental, honest and constructive. It helps parents navigate the fine line between guiding your kids and still encouraging independence. It helps you see the best in your kids, and seek to help them reach their full potential. The focus is primarily on learning and improvement, rather than correction and criticism.

With a Coach-Approach to Parenting, parents learn to be a champion for their kids in a positive, empowering way. It leads to better performance, and a better life.

A coach-approach offers parents a way to:

*  Help kids determine their strengths and motivations

*  Expose kids to the benefits of celebrating successes

*  Teach kids to shift perspectives and get “unstuck”

*  Share life lessons, both positive and negative

*  Help kids figure out what they want in their lives

*  Provide constructive feedback and accountability

*  Share their values, beliefs and perspectives

Finally, parent coaching gives parents a chance to pay attention to themselves, which helps them be the best parents they can be. Parents often spend so much energy on their kids that they forget about themselves, and ultimately that’s not good for anyone.

Coaching & training combined is a powerfully effective way to create lasting change. If you know there is something more for you and your family, if you are ready for something better, then parent coaching may be just the way to transform your life from surviving to thriving.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus is the co-founder of ImpactADHD.  

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