03 Oct How to Tell my Teen They Need an ADHD EF Coach
HOW TO APPROACH DISCUSSING EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Tell My Teen They Need an ADHD EF Coach
Imagine this scenario: You’ve recently come across the concept of executive function coaching and believe it could be the solution to helping your tween/teen manage their ever-increasing responsibilities.
You approach them with enthusiasm, only to be met with resistance as they retort, “I can’t handle more on my plate!”
Or perhaps, they assert, “I’ve got everything under control!” despite evidence of missed deadlines and overlooked assignments.
Many parents encounter resistance when introducing the idea of executive function coaching to their tween/teen. From the student’s perspective, it might seem like an additional burden or a suggestion they’re not managing well. However, fear not; navigating these initial objections is a natural part of the process, and we’re here to help guide you through it. When your tween/teen responds with, “I can’t handle more on my plate!” it’s crucial to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding.
Here are some suggestions for addressing your tween/teen’s concerns:
1. Validate their feelings: Begin by acknowledging their feelings. You might say, “I understand you’re overwhelmed and have much on your plate. It’s completely normal to feel this way.”
2. Explain the benefits of executive function coaching: Emphasize that executive function coaching aims to make their life easier, not more challenging. You could say, “The goal of executive function coaching is to help you manage all these responsibilities more effectively, reducing feelings of overwhelm and stress by teaching you skills like time management, task prioritization, and organization.”
3. Discuss flexibility and customization: Describe how the coaching can be tailored to their needs and schedule. For instance, “The coaching sessions can be scheduled around your other commitments, and the coach will work with you to develop strategies that suit your unique needs and lifestyle.”
4. Suggest a trial period: Propose trying out the coaching for a limited period to assess its effectiveness. How about we give this a try for a month? We can reevaluate if you find it’s not helpful or adds too much to your plate.” The aim is not to force your tween/teen into something they’re uncomfortable with but to help them recognize the potential benefits and make an informed decision.
“I’ve got everything under control!” (despite clear challenges)
When your tween/teen insists they have everything under control, even when it’s evident they’re struggling, it’s essential to approach the conversation with patience and sensitivity.
Consider the following strategies and responses:
1. Acknowledge their independence: Start by recognizing their efforts and desire for independence. You could say, “I see how hard you’re working and that you want to handle things independently. That’s truly commendable.”
2. Share your observations: Instead of directly contradicting them, share your observations non-judgmentally. For example, “I’ve noticed you seem stressed out often, and sometimes you miss deadlines or forget assignments. I’m not implying you’re not doing your best, but things seem more challenging than necessary.”
3. Reassure them of your support: Let them know you’re there to support them, regardless of their decision. Say, “Whatever you decide, I’m here to support you. I want to ensure you feel less stressed and more in control.”
To initiate this discussion, we’ve provided an infographic that explains the role of an EF Coach to students. We encourage you to share this with your tween/teen and let us know how it goes!