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Here it is, the new school year.  For many, it’s the time when our children’s carefree smiles disappear and their walk looses some of its lightness.  Stress, overwhelm, anxiety creep back into our children’s lives as they approach the beginning of school.  What’s a parent to do?

For starters, do what ever you can to find a quiet place for yourself for a few minutes.  It’s time for some quality self-talk.  And some slow, deep breathes.

First, as parents who work with me know, it all begins and ends with calm.  Really, truly.  And it is YOU who must bring it back to calm, knowing that no learning can take place without it.  Make your commitment to do what it takes to master the skill of calm.

Second, help your children find their motivation.  Especially when children have ADHD, without genuine intrinsic interest and motivation, there is little you can do from the outside to create the drive they need to succeed – in anything: academics, hobbies, sports, etc.  Have the conversation with them about what is important and interesting to THEM.  Help them to connect their actions in all aspects of life to the interests and passions that truly motivate them.  Let them experience your partnership so they can value your input.

Third, think back to the beginning of last year. In what ways has your child grown and matured?  It can be small things like learning to pour their own milk or bigger milestones such as being more comfortable staying alone for a period of time.  Parents sometimes spend so much energy focused on the areas of development where their children are behind that they fail to acknowledge the progress that is being made.  Think about a few REASONABLE, REACHABLE goals you would like to help your child achieve this year that will make their life, and yours, easier and more manageable. Tuck these goals away in your mind to work on throughout the year.

Be patient.  Growth happens.  Measure progress fairly and smile at the milestones.  As always, Parent the child You have!