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Why should I change my definition of success for my child with ADHD?

One of the most important paradigm shifts you can make for your child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is to break out of your narrow definitions of success. Some parents work on models that go like this: "If my child doesn't get all A's in school and ace the SATs, he won't get into the best universities and won't go on to be the doctor, lawyer, CEO, or senator I want him to be." This construct may be a slight exaggeration, but it represents an all-too-common, deep-seated and toxic anxiety that a child will fall off the earth if he steps off of a narrow path of unrelenting and ever-increasing accomplishment.

If you were to bust out of this narrow and suffocating mold for your child and yourself, what permission would you start giving yourself and your child? Maybe you would let your child quit clarinet lessons and take tae kwon do instead. Maybe you would free up your weekends to pursue your own interests if you stopped pushing him to participate in the marching band even though he's complained about it incessantly. In reality, success in life is so much broader than parents' narrow definitions. You cannot protect your child from the disappointments and frustrations involved in making dreams come true. Your child's greatest dreams may lie in fields outside of your narrow definitions of success. You may worry that your child wants to be an artist or athlete and wonder how he will support himself with interests like these. Give your child permission to love what he loves and do what he loves. Gain a broader perspective and remember that this passion fuels his ability to build skills and will increase his motivation in other arenas. If you allow your fears to cut your child off from his passion ("He won't be able to support himself"), you are also cutting off your connection to him and his connection with his energy source.
The Gift of ADHD Activity Book: 101 Ways to Turn Your Child's Problems into Strengths (Companion)

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The Gift of ADHD Activity Book: 101 Ways to Turn Your Child's Problems into Strengths (Companion)

So much depends on how you look at things: Are you a glass-half-empty person, or do you discover advantages where other people find only weaknesses? When it comes to raising healthy, happy kids,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.