If you missed the first post in this series, check back to Maybe It’s Not ADHD. You’ll find two situations that can appear similar to ADHD but may be a completely different problem.
Do you have a kid that seems to bounce off the walls, is easily distracted, and seems to forget anything and everything? You might
immediately think of ADHD when you hear this description. However, things are not always as they seem.
Many more kids now seem to be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. ADD is mostly about difficulty paying attention, and ADHD has attention problem along with hyperactivity. These can run in families or be more isolated. No matter how it comes about, parents are looking for solutions. Here is one suggestion that you can use to help a child with attention problems.
Where Does The Message Go?
We parents sometimes take things for granted. We think (or maybe just hope) that when kids hear us call their name, they will know it’s time to focus in on what’s coming next. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always
happen. And for a child with particular difficulty paying attention, it can be an even bigger challenge.
Take this very typical statement from a parent. “Jessie, go get your jacket and put it in your closet.” Something nearly any parent in America might say to a child old enough to do that task. But let’s flip it around and see it from the perspective of a child with trouble paying attention.
Let’s imagine the inattentive child is busy playing when the parent says this. How much of that statement do you think they really heard when it first happened? More than likely, they only just heard their name. Or
they might have only registered that it was their mom saying something loudly to one of the kids. Everything after their name fell out of their ears.
What’s a parent’s response likely to be when they tell their child to do something and they don’t do anything at all? They start to get annoyed at their child and might repeat it again but with a more negative tone in their voice. The child might get defensive at this second attempt because they honestly didn’t realize they were expected to do something. Right away there is a mismatch of expectations between the parent and the child. The parent sees this as possibly laziness or disrespect, and the child might see this as being really negative and like they are always in trouble.
Break Down Your Message Into Small Parts
How could this …