Have you ever wondered how ADD coaching works? Ever wondered if you could do it yourself? Well, you’re about to find out – here’s a little glimpse into my world:
Coaching starts out with an evaluation of the big picture: which particular ADD symptoms does the client have, and how are they affecting her life? Once that has been determined, I look for two things: problems with a quick and easy solution, and the one big problem that is causing the most trouble in the client’s life.
Now, you as a parent coaching your own child may have an advantage here, because no one knows your child better than you do. So, you take a good look, give it some thought, and decide that the one thing that would make the biggest difference for your child would be getting her homework to school on a more reliable basis.
Now before you can solve the problem, you need to analyze and understand it. Take a look at the entire process of doing homework:
- Is there a consistent time and place that homework gets done? If not, that’s something you need to address.
- Is doing homework supervised? Depending on your child’s age, you may not feel it’s necessary, but you need to reconsider this in order to make sure that this is not the point where the process of getting homework back to school breaks down.
- Are other family members present while your child is doing homework? The dog may not eat your child’s homework, but baby brother or sister may walk off with it.
- Is there a system for transporting homework from home to school, such as a designated folder? Again, this may be the area you need to address.
In addition to your own thoughts and opinions, don’t forget to ask your child where she thinks the problem is. Don’t be surprised if you get an “I don’t know.” Ask lots of questions, and do it in a conversational manner. Don’t make your child feel as though she is being interrogated.
OK, so you’ve identified the problem, or possibly several problems. Your next step is to start looking for solutions. Let’s say you’ve decided that your child needs a consistent time and place for homework as well as a system for getting the homework back to school.
Choose one of the two to begin working on; both are more complicated than they seem. At first glance, you might think that this is a 5 minute solution – establish a time and place, buy a folder – problem solved. Well, it can be that easy if you’re willing to constantly and consistently supervise all aspects of doing homework and you like to micromanage.
Otherwise, you need to pick one, find a way to trigger the behavior, and stand by with reminders, encouragement, and alternate solutions until it becomes a habit with your child – usually several weeks.
Real ADD coaching is a little more involved than what I’ve outlined, but hopefully I’ve given you at least a glimpse of what it’s like.