In this video, Dr. Jim, ADHD specialist and founder of FastBraiin, answers the question many parents are asking, “How do I motivate my ADHD child?”
Every day in my office I am confronted with patients that are not motivated and parents that are struggling with motivating their child. All they do is sit on a couch. All they do is lie on the bed. All they do is go up and play video games.
First of all, what did I just hear? You are allowing your child to lay on the couch. You are allowing your child to play computer games. You area allowing your child to stay in bed and lie in their room.
That’s the number one problem. But we also need to look at behavioral issues.
Motivation has to come within. You cannot motivate your child. They have to find it within themselves. They have to find that what they are doing has relevance, has value, and has meaning. Your job isn’t so much to motivate them, as it is to find something they’re already motivated towards, and leverage that for their good.
Consider a sports team. If they are losing and there’s no value to it, then they aren’t going to try. If there is value and there is a possibility of winning the championship, they are going to be trying hard in the offseason. If they see the value of working early on and maybe for 8 months prior to the big game, they will put in the effort.
How do we motivate someone in school? That is a good question because a lot of school has work for us to do, or we are being taught and told to learn information that does not have value and relevance. Why does a 9th grader have to learn Romeo and Juliet? Okay, if I am going to learn Shakespeare, I as a male, I would much rather it be Macbeth or Julius Ceasar.
Let’s make things relevant. Parents say, my child doesn’t want to write the essay. No, well what are they having to write about, the flowers and the field? Why not instead have them walk around the school and look for something they think is interesting and let them find something that they want to write about.
The subject matter is not important, what’s most important is the learning process.The subject matter is not important, what's most important is the learning process.Click To Tweet
Again, motivation has to be relevant and you as a parent have to figure out how to do that. How can you make what they are doing relevant and have value? That’s the big question. Otherwise, they are going to go off with a group of people that are in the same boat, not feeling motivated, motivated potentially by drugs, or things that make them feel good, computer games, anything but learning.
It is a very difficult task. It’s one that requires a lot of attention and a lot of behavioral modification at home. There are a lot of things that you need to be firm about. You could motivate them with money, with time on the computer, or anything they see as valuable. You got to find out what is their touchpoint. What do they want? And those are the types of things to put before them.
Parents will say, so you are saying I got to bribe my child? Bribing is when you motivate someone by doing something illegal. This is about finding their inner motivation and joy.
You as a parent have to figure that out.
Also, you need to be the role model. You can’t be drinking and then ask them not to drink. You can’t be coming in late and ask them to come in on time. You can’t have the house in disarray and want their room clean. See where I am going with all that?
Motivation needs to be cultivated by the entire household. It takes all the pieces working together. If you want to motivate your child to eat well, it first begins with you or whoever is buying the groceries.
On and on we as parents want something done to our child. No, let your child live. Let your child go. Let your child find what they are passionate about. What drives their creativity? Their creativity will show you where they are passionate and where they place value in the world.
Your child’s imagination is going to develop a passion and that is where the motivation comes from. That’s what you need to tap into.