ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning Coaching Moment…The Angry Summer Child

The summer is a wonderful time for growth. I encourage all of my clients with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns to use the summer as a time go grow and develop. However, I can’t say this always goes over so well. Let me introduce you to Harvey.

I’ve worked with Harvey’s family for a long time. His brother and sister are also clients. Due to some family issues, my work has taken many different directions over the years. I have an excellent relationship with everyone.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well that was until Harvey heard he’s working with me this summer. Let’s just say Harvey wasn’t too happy about it.

Harvey became nasty, belligerent, defiant and every other thing under the sun I didn’t expect from him. He felt that it was pointless to work together and even wanted to fire me so he didn’t need to do so. Harvey has fired me in the past, but always changes his mind. This time, however, there was something else I’ve never seen before…no remorse.

There were two deeper issues at play with Harvey. His parents are divorced and he hasn’t seen his father in a long time. Around a month before school ended, he reconnected with his father. His father bought him a video game system. This became Harvey’s obsession. Plus, Harvey had a difficult teacher that piled on the work all school year and this didn’t help things either (this teacher gave his fourth graders two hours of homework per night). These two factors caused him to avoid things at all costs.

Harvey isn’t wrong to be burned out and deserves to have his feelings validated. However, there are some things we need to do this summer like addressing emotional control. His reaction to the situation created problems, so instead of making this about the problem we made this about the reaction. Once Harvey took a step back and realized that I empathized with him, he opened up about it.

The key in this type of situation is not winning or losing individually. Once it becomes about that, neither side wins and the client will not be helped. However, making it a team effort where both sides win or lose together makes the process that much better. Harvey realized that I’m in this with him and want to see him perform better. Once this was established, Harvey saw the bigger picture. And he unfired me!!!

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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