Kids with ADHD need to acquire the essential tips and tools to improve their executive functioning skills and this rarely happens through observation or osmosis. While medication can make them more attentive to absorb and process information, pills don’t teach the essential skills they need to mature into independent, capable adults. Children and teens with ADHD depend on parents to teach them the tools for key executive functioning skills such as self-regulation, initiation, time management, goal-directed persistence, and organization that they need for successful daily living. Parent training has been proven to be a successful method to create and sustain behavioral change for kids and families living with ADHD.1
In my 30 years of experience, I have found that unquestionably, parent training programs are most effective when they focus on collaboration as a way to improve cooperation and build on the positive parts of any parent-child relationship. My 5C’s of ADHD parenting approach- self-control, compassion, collaboration, consistency and celebration2 – can improve daily living, offer a strong foundation that can be applied to any program, and nurture the trust and connection that families need in order to follow through, adjust and note progress on agreed-upon plans.
Regardless of whatever parent training program you choose, managing your own reactions before dealing with your son or daughter, meeting kids where they are instead of where you think they should be, working together to create solutions, aiming for steadiness rather than perfection and noticing what’s going will foster the growth mindsets that lead to lasting change.
About the Author
Sharon Saline, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and author of the award-winning book, What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life and The ADHD solution card deck specializes in working with kids, young adults and families living with ADHD, learning disabilities and mental health issues. Her unique perspective – as a sibling in an ADHD home, combined with decades of experience as a clinical psychologist and educator/clinician consultant – assists her in guiding families and adults towards effective communication and closer connections. She lectures and facilitates workshops internationally on topics such as understanding ADHD, executive functioning, anxiety, different kinds of learners and the teen brain. Dr. Saline is a regular contributor to ADDitudemag.com and PsychologyToday.com, a featured expert on MASS Appeal on WWLP-TV and a part-time lecturer at the Smith School for Social Work. Learn more at www.drsharonsaline.com.
To learn more about ADHD, executive functioning and the 5C’s, check out:
- Saline, S. (2018). What your ADHD child wishes you knew: Working together to empower kids for success in school and life. New York: TarcherPerigee.
- 2 Saline, S. (2020). The ADHD solution deck: 50 Strategies to help kids learn, reduce stress and improve family connections. Eau Claire, Wisconsin: PESI.
To learn more about parent training, check out: