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Here is a story about a spouse that “doesn’t believe in ADHD.” It is sad when a child falls through the cracks because an adult isn’t willing to learn about what’s going on. People are sometimes afraid and stuck and can’t or won’t be honest with themselves. Sometimes we can’t deal with being uncomfortable. If problems with attention, focus, and concentration continue, the compounding negative impact is no joke. These kids must learn the SKILLS of focus in order to achieve ANYTHING they want to achieve in life. Not learning these skills limits life choices. This video explores some solutions.
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Parents, I heard another story about one parent who doesn’t believe in ADHD and the other parent does. And this is a pretty tragic situation, and I’m not even being dramatic. By the way, what’s up. My name is Seth with SethPerler.com, I’m an executive function coach from Colorado and I help struggling students navigate this thing called education so they can have a great life.
I have heard this story so many times where one parent believes in autism or Aspergers or dyslexia or ADHD and one person doesn’t. The other parent thinks, “oh the kid just needs to try harder, they need to work harder, they need to apply themselves more,” and it’s such bullshit. It’s really disturbing to me because it’s no joke because we’re talking about a kid’s life. Yes, there’s a place for skepticism. Sure, question it. Research it. But RESEARCH it, because if we don’t address the kids needs and we end up not addressing needs that limit their future and limit their potential and limit their ability because our ego is too sensitive and delicate, that we can’t be challenged, and we’re just going to stick to what we think, and this kid is continuing to suffer, is really, really, disturbing to me to see. I do what I do in terms of my career, in terms of serving kids, because I believe that human beings should have a good crack at having a great life. And I believe in education, and I believe that education’s job is to empower people to have the tools that they need to have a great life. If you can’t execute, that’s a problem. So, when I see an adult who’s this resistant it’s deeply disturbing to me because I have seen what happens when kids grow up, not only to myself but to other kids that I’ve worked with that have grown up not believing in themselves, that struggle with mental health issues, who struggle with self-confidence, who struggle with career, who struggle with relationships, who struggle with finances, who struggle, struggle, struggle. Had they’d been given what they needed we could’ve alleviated or bypassed a lot of their struggles. It is just not okay. If I seem a bit more emotional today about this topic than usually is because this just pisses me off. Anyhow, it’s really sad when kids fall through the cracks is because they don’t have to.
Now, to be compassionate to the person that’s being challenged, you have a husband and wife in this case, but I’ve also heard this where people say that their parents (the grandparents) don’t believe in ADHD or don’t believe in whatever ‘it’ is, it’s just a matter that the kid needs to work harder, try harder, they need to care more. They need to be more rigorous, more disciplined, they need to just motivate themselves. It’s so frustrating. “If I did it, why can’t they?!” It’s just ignorant. Ignorance is fine, skepticism is fine, but when you’re an adult it is time to say, “Woah, the kid is struggling. The kid is suffering. What do we need to learn, what do we need to do to help the kid?” Don’t put the blinders on. The question isn’t, is ADHD fake? The question is, what skills does this child need to develop in order to launch a happy, healthy, and successful future. The question is, what skills does this kid need. Okay, so forget the diagnosis. Fine, so you don’t believe in it, who cares. Let’s go back to the question. What does this kid need? What skills do they need in order to be able to accomplish goals, to accomplish meaningful tasks that are going to help them have a good future?
We also have, with ADHD in particular, but with other things too, we have the question of medication, which is outside the scope of this video. But, the placebo effect has been well documented and well studied. Whether a medication is used or not, the placebo effect is so important, but the placebo effect of also believing in someone. Believing the wrong story is not a good placebo. But the placebo, “I believe in you, we can do this, we can figure this out, let’s do this,” is very powerful. Anyhow, I wanted to mention that.
I have a few other things that I want to mention. The parent does not buy-in to that ADHD is real, or whatever the case is, does that parent at least have the relational skills in your relationship to have a real meaningful dialogue about your child. If your spouse does not have those relational skills then the services or help or support that your child is going to get is just dependent on you. At that point, you either accept it or you don’t accept and you change it, but if they don’t have those relational skills, that happens, unfortunately. So you have to say, what are we going to do in that case if they don’t have the relational skills, they don’t want to have that real dialogue about the kid, then it’s really up to you. What can YOU do? So what can you do, regardless or not if they buy-in to it?
Number one, I’d say continue advocating with your spouse, partner, or whoever the person is that doesn’t believe in the thing, continue advocating for that child, trying to get their support and understanding because their support matters and it helps. Any support the child can get is going to help. These kids need healthy, securely attached relationships. I talk about that all the time. Relationships are everything for the kid to feel heard, seen, understood, and known, to have healthy people in their life is such an empowering thing for them. It’s probably the biggest game-changer. So continue advocating.
Number two, learn everything you can about ADHD or executive function, or co-morbidities, which you can look up on your own. Continue learning everything you can.
Three, there are six pillars to helping kids. So one, like I said before, continue advocating, two, learn everything you can about the issue is, but three, use these six pillars. Kids who struggle with executive function need (1) systems, (2) mindsets, (3) habits and routines, (4) emotional regulation skills, (5) they need reflection. Reflection and introspections. (6) And they need the relationship with you.
If your kid is going to learn the executive function skills so that they can have a great life, they’re going to need to learn systems. My website is filled with that, but they need to learn systems of executive function, of how to plan, how to organize, yadda yadda. They need mindsets, mindsets of, “I can do this, I can figure this out. Yes, I’m resistant, yes, I don’t feel like it, I procrastinate, yes, I don’t feel motivated, BUT, I have the mindset to do it. I can do this. I can figure this out, I can accomplish this.” So mindsets. Next, they need the habits and routines. Good study habits, good relationship habits, etcetera etcetera. Next, they need systems for emotional regulation skills. Emotional regulation, working with their nervous system, healthy attachment, all these sorts of things. Next, they need skills of reflection, introspection, self-awareness, mindfulness. They need to build reflection so that they can learn from their mistakes so that they can grow. Next, they need healthy and securely attached relationships, they need YOU. They need your support.
So with that, I hope that was helpful. I do not envy you if you’re in that situation. But, continue advocating, learn everything you can, and then do your best to use the six pillars. My name is Seth Perler, if you haven’t already subscribed please do. Please share with somebody, it means a lot to me and leave a comment on the video. What do you do when people think that what’s going on with your kid is fake? Or that they just need to try harder, or care more, or just choose to be more proactive? How do you deal with that? What advice do you have for us? Take care.
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