ADHD, Executive Function, and The Art of Getting Kids to Listen

Original Air Date April 28, 2021 | 7:00 PM, EDT

Caroline Maguire, MEd, ACCG, PCC

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Download the handouts. 

Many parents feel that their child is purposely not listening to them. Are they are getting a payoff for being stubborn or selfish? This is a very common thought, albeit, a possible misconception. Sure, your child may occasionally be stubborn or selfish, but more often, it is the result of a lack of skills. Research shows that it is brain-based “executive function” skills that hold him back—not willfulness or laziness.

The idea that a child “would if he could” is an important distinction. In this lens of looking at your child’s behavior, you can remind yourself that his skills are not strong enough to curb the impulse.  Once your child begins to develop the executive function skills necessary—whether it’s a small step in getting homework done or managing big emotions—his successes will motivate him to do more. You will learn how to work collaboratively with your child to get her to open up, consider her own thinking and choices, listen and improve your relationship. Sharing the concepts professional coaches use, she will help parents incorporate strategies such as reflective listening, open questions, modeling, self-regulation and more. For scripts, tools, advice and actionable exercises on helping children develop social skills, check out Why Will No One Play with Me?

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss common problems parents face when they attempt to help their child improve lagging skills.
  • Identify how to engage kids in the coaching process.
  • Create a collaborative dialogue between parent and child about academics, social life, or other issues.
  • Demonstrate how to communicate or coach the child through any problem or conflict using open-ended questions, reflective listening, and praise and prompts.

Speaker Bio:
Caroline Maguire, M.Ed., ACCG, PCC, is a graduate of Trinity College and Lesley University, where she earned her M. Ed. and Early Childhood Development with a specialization in social emotional learning (SEL). She is the author of the award winning book, Why Will No One Play With Me? and founder of a SEL training methodology #ConnectionMatters, both designed to teach emotional regulation, emotional intelligence, social and self-awareness and responsible decision-making skills. She founded the only Coach Training program accredited by the ICF, ADDA’s The Fundamentals of ADHD Coaching for Families. Ms. Maguire practiced as a social skills clinician at the Hallowell Center Boston then formed her private practice. She is a sought-after lecturer and workshop facilitator on various topics related to social, emotional and behavioral learning. She is a permanent columnist on social skills in ADDitude Magazine, a favored contributor to many revered publications. Follow her @AuthorCarolineM and download her free video “How to Tell a Tighter Story


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