I know that my son would really benefit from a coach. (He certainly doesn’t want to hear me carping at him anymore!) Yet when I bring up the subject, he completely shuts down. How can I get him to agree to working with a coach?
Sincerely, Denise W.
As you are well aware, parenting teens and young adults is a tough balancing act between providing support and letting your child succeed (or fail) on their own. We strongly encourage the student to be involved with all conversations with our coaches from the beginning. The more you, as parent, speak with the coach without the student involved, the less your child will want to talk to the coach. That’s why most coaches require that parents and their kids meet together with the coach during the first conference call so the student doesn’t feel railroaded into the idea of coaching.
It’s also helpful for the student (and you) to understand what an ADHD coach does. Often students think an ADHD coach is just one more person that will nag them about school, their room, etc. This is far from the case. A coach address whatever the student (not you) thinks is important. This could mean making friends or getting on a sports team are priorities for your son, where your priority is getting his grade up. In this example, we’d be working on helping him with his priorities: friends and sports. And, of course, as a student builds trust with his coach, other life issues – like grades – will inevitably come up and be addressed.
And, of course, everything that a coach talks about with your child will be confidential. It can be hard to let go as a parent, but it can really help your son relax about getting coaching to know that he sets the agenda and sessions are private.
Of course, there are always kids that just don’t want any help. In those situations you will need to determine what influence you have over your child’s behavior. Are they still living at home? Are you paying for their education? If you believe coaching is the best course of action for your child, you can set a clear expectation that he needs to participate. AND outline clear consequences if he doesn’t. Dr. Phil may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but his article on Parenting with Purpose may give you a good starting place for thinking about setting expectations for your child.
You can always set up a no-obligation introductory conversation between Edge and your son. Just fill out the contact form using the link below and we’ll get right back to you. Good luck!
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