It’s time to throw out the narrative that makes parents feel like this diagnosis is disastrous. Your child doesn’t need to change; your child needs to learn. Trying to change our children creates stress, overwhelm, drama, and disappointment. And it’s so unnecessary. There is a better way.
We have been taught that “X” is the way kids are supposed to behave, and it’s definitely NOT the way a lot of ADHD kids behave! But instead of being given skills, parents are made to feel inadequate by schools, doctors, and family members that tell them, “You’re doing something wrong.” But it’s not your fault! It’s a matter of learning the techniques that fit your children.
It is so effective to have a team that supports your ADHD child and your family. You can give permission for some of the team members to exchange information. For example, an ADHD family coach could be in touch with a school counselor and a therapist. A physician may have important insights for your coach. With so many people connecting to help you and your family, just imagine the possibilities!
Let me be clear: you are not to become their executive function, but you can be their executive assistant. You make sure they know what they’re doing on a given day, and when things are due. An executive assistant doesn’t run the company but he/she helps the CEO get things done. Also, it’s okay to sit with them and explain instructions or proofread or discuss ideas.
Your children aren’t lazy or unmotivated. It’s ALWAYS something else. They might need glasses, they might have a learning challenge, they might not be getting enough sleep or healthy food. They might be depressed or anxious or have other conditions just waiting to be diagnosed. Just sit and watch how they move through an hour or a day. Learn them. You’ll get some good information about what they need.
Developing top performers takes more than just a promotion. To get that next generational leader ready for the next role, invest time in their talent. For example, even a highly ranked rookie baseball player is trained before their first pro game. Spend time assessing their areas of opportunity and then coaching to those weaknesses. Educate them, increase their work scope, and increase their breadth of responsibility before promoting.
Surprises are best left to celebrations, not annual reviews. An employee should never receive feedback for the first time during their review. Regular check-ins and coaching sessions are imperative. When the manager coaches regularly, ensure it’s documented with written confirmations. An email noting the conversation will ensure that when review time comes, the feedback is not coming out of left field.
Trust your employee to do their job. Once you’ve hired and trained the right people, let them do it without micromanaging their work. Trust but verify. Delegate and spot check as needed and follow up regularly, but don’t micromanage your employees. If there are problems that arise with behavior or performance, address them immediately.
Providing a handbook and company policy manual is important during the onboarding period, but just handing out a copy to a new employee isn’t enough. It behooves you to create a fun and interactive approach to sharing the information, such as creating a fun game or scavenger hunt that requires a deep dive into the material and allows them to gain insight on what’s important and what you want them to know.
The first impression is a lasting impression. Ensure the candidate feels welcomed. From the initial greeting, sell the company, beginning with introductions, handshakes and the courtesy of offering water to the candidate. Make the candidate relaxed and comfortable, so you can seek out a fit. An interview is a two-way conversation, not an interrogation. Discuss the company and benefits, while you uncover the candidate’s skills.