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  • Writer's pictureMirka

What Not to Say to Your Child with ADHD

Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship, especially between parents and children. When your child has ADHD, choosing your words carefully can make a significant difference in their self-esteem, confidence, and overall well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore some common phrases that may unintentionally harm your child with ADHD and provide advice on what to say instead to support and empower them.




"Why can't you just focus?"

This seemingly innocent question can make a child with ADHD feel frustrated and misunderstood. Instead of blaming them for their struggles with attention, try offering encouragement and support. Say, "I know it can be hard to stay focused sometimes. Let's work together to find strategies that can help you stay on track."


"You're so lazy."

Labeling your child as lazy can damage their self-esteem and discourage them from trying. Instead, recognize their efforts and celebrate their progress. Say, "I see how hard you're trying, and I'm proud of you. Let's keep working together to find ways to make things easier for you."


"Why can't you just focus?"

This seemingly innocent question can make a child with ADHD feel frustrated and misunderstood. Instead of blaming them for their struggles with attention, try offering encouragement and support. Say, "I know it can be hard to stay focused sometimes. Let's work together to find strategies that can help you stay on track."


"Why are you always so hyper?"

Pointing out your child's hyperactivity can make them feel self-conscious and ashamed of their behavior. Instead, offer empathy and understanding. Say, "I know you have a lot of energy, and that's okay. Let's find constructive ways to channel your energy into positive activities."


"You're not trying hard enough."

Implying that your child isn't trying hard enough can undermine their confidence and make them feel like they're not good enough. Instead, acknowledge their efforts and offer support. Say, "I see how much effort you're putting in, and I appreciate it. Let's figure out how we can make things easier for you."


"Just calm down."

Telling your child to "just calm down" dismisses their feelings and minimizes their struggles with emotional regulation. Instead, offer validation and help them develop coping strategies. Say, "I can see that you're feeling upset. Let's take some deep breaths together and find a way to help you feel better."


"You're always forgetting things."

Constantly reminding your child of their forgetfulness can make them feel incompetent and overwhelmed. Instead, offer practical solutions and create a supportive environment. Say, "I know it can be hard to remember everything. Let's come up with some strategies together to help you remember important things."


Words have the power to uplift and empower or to hurt and diminish. When communicating with your child with ADHD, it's important to choose your words thoughtfully and with empathy. By avoiding negative phrases that can undermine their confidence and self-esteem and instead offering encouragement, understanding, and support, you can nurture a positive and empowering relationship with your child. Remember, your words have the power to shape their self-perception and their outlook on life – choose them wisely.


Mirka

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