As parents of ADHD kids we’re always on the lookout for advice about how to encourage and support our kids. A positive outlook and good communication skills are on every list of great strategies for raising well adjusted kids. But what about what you’re not supposed to say? Insensitive, thoughtless and hurtful words uttered in moments of frustration or anger are always regretful but with ADHD kids the damage may be compounded. A recent article in ADDititude magazine explores this issue and includes a list of the ten things “parents of ADHD kids should absolutely, positively never say out loud.”
Not surprisingly, at the top of the list is “you’re stupid,” or lazy, dumb, incompetent etc. Personal attacks are never helpful. Try to keep focused on the issue at hand and leave out the name calling.
“I love you but” is another top ten “what not to say” contender. The problem is that the “I love you” part is diluted by the “but” because the “but” is setting up a criticism. No matter how constructive or well intended your words are they will be misconstrued. Instead say “I love you AND . . .” which will keep the conversation positive and your message will be heard as intended.
Enhanced communications skills, especially knowing what not to say, will go a long way towards helping parents encourage and support kids growing up with ADHD. For the full list of “what not to say” and “how not to say it” visit http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/151/slide-1.html