From frustration to focus


Do you worry about your child’s grades?  You aren’t alone.  Every week we are contacted by parents desperate to find help for their child. He’s flunking in school.  She’s so disorganized she can never get a paper in on time so her grades don’t reflect her ability.  He’s unmotivated by rewards – even paying him for A’s doesn’t seem to help.

A common focus of concern for parents is grades.  And no doubt your child carries a lot of internal stress about his or her performance in school – whether she admits to it or not.  But we’d like to suggest that this focus on grades is a distraction from helping your child see what she needs to do to take charge of her life.

We believe an ADHD coach can help make the difference in your child’s life and we have the research to prove it.  We encourage you to put yourself in your child’s shoes and think about what does motivate him or her.  School performance is a means to an ends, it is important, but not the only thing that measures success.  After all, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates both dropped out of college to passionately focus on their dreams.

We’re not suggesting dropping out is the solution, but we are encouraging you to shift your focus to what inspires your child, what are his or her dreams and what is holding them back from success.   Overcoming these obstacles is the focus of coaching.

Motivating your child

  • It’s not your job to get your child a coach.
  • You can’t force him to call.
  • You can’t tell him what to work on in coaching session.
  • You can’t sign him up.

What you can do is help your child envision the possibilities that coaching will open up for her.

Coaching isn’t about fixing her.  It isn’t a tutor, therapist or mentor.  It’s unlike anything she’s ever tried before. A coach is your child’s partner in helping him accomplish his goals (not yours).

Coaches help the students they work with decide what they want to achieve, develop a plan to accomplish those goals and take the steps needed to reach their dreams.

An ADHD coach should not be a punishment

Instead of saying “Your grades better come up next term or you’ll have to get a coach,” we suggest focusing on your child’s point of view.  Think about opening up the channel for conversation with your child and trying some conversation starters like:

  • What is most challenging for you right now?
  • What frustrates you most about your life?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • What do you envision for yourself after you graduate?
  • What are your worries?

Your child may not want to talk to you about these issues.  And that’s okay.  It’s an important part of their development to want to tackle these issues on their own.  But you can still counsel and guide them towards a coach.  After all, a coach isn’t a punishment, a coach is a resource to help you set goals, learn new skills and hone the edge you need to make your dreams come true.


Overcome your ADHD inertia


Overcoming ADHD inertia

Inertia: A tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.

Ever feel you are having trouble getting motivated. Inertia is a common human condition. Overcoming it takes practice.

Most people with ADHD have a million ideas going on in their heads, but often when it comes down to doing them, they get stuck. Last week we talked about how to move past boredom when you have a despised, but necessary, task that there is just no getting around doing.

But what about those times you have something you want to do, and you’ve even started to work on it, but you get stuck and overwhelmed?  Then you are dealing with inertia, not boredom.

Inertia can sneak up on you when you are overwhelmed by the task at hand or you aren’t sure where to start. Instead of fighting it why not try using inertia in your favor?

First, find somewhere really comfortable to sit where no one will distract you.  A hammock is a great idea, the couch in front of the Xbox not so good. Be sure you put on a relaxing playlist, but no so relaxing you fall asleep! Bring a notepad and paper.  Some people like to use post its for this part.

Now relax. Seriously. Stop stressing about what you haven’t done. Instead let your mind float into the brainstorming mode. While you are brainstorming think about all of the things you could do to get the task done and write them all down. Write down every little detail. And don’t stop writing until you get everything down you can think of you need to do.

Now figure out what are the easiest things to do and DO them! Got a pack of post-it’s?  Check. Lying in the hammock? Check. If you find there are things that are too hard to do, try to break them into smaller tasks. Set deadlines for yourself. Celebrate when you meet them.

Pausing to reflect isn’t being lazy, it’s thinking things through and planning how to get them accomplished. The key to success is to keep taking small steps every day.

This example is just one plan of attack that people use to get motivated. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged. As they say, there are lots of other ways up the hill.  If you are having trouble meeting your own deadlines, setting unrealistic goals or feel like you haven’t figured out a way to motivate yourself despite your best efforts, you may want to work with a coach for awhile. An ADHD coach can help you figure out strategies that work with your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. A coach can hold you accountable. A coach can kick you in the rear when you are feeling lazy.

To find out more about how an ADHD coach can help you overcome inertia call 1-888-718-8886.


Two ADHD Resources you must have to survive school/college

ADHD Parent Care Package

Get Our Parent Care Package

Our College Success Guide

Get Our College Guide

Can you DO more to manage ADHD?

There’s been so much attention the past few  days about whether Ritalin is effective for treating ADHD, you may have missed the news that fidgeting can help manage ADHD.  That’s right, fidgeting actually helps kids with ADHD stay alert.   University of Central Florida  study reportedly shows that ADHD kids move around in order to help them stay focused.  In fact kids with ADHD may actually learn better when they are fidgeting!

Teachers in Minnesota and Wisconsin have been experimenting with flexible desks that allow children the option to either stand or sit at them.  The New York Timesreported that researchers from the University of Minnesota have been studying the impact of these flexible desks on the academic outcomes of children using them.

Finally, a study published in the journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology shows that doodling actually improves your ability to remember details, rather than indicating your mind is wandering.

Here at Edge, we know that fidgeting can be used successfully to help manage ADHD symptoms.  In 2005 our Executive Director, Sarah Wright, co-authored, Fidget to Focus:  Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD.  Next month we’ll tell you more about this book that started it all! In the meantime, take a look at these reports – perhaps they’ll give you ideas of things to do at school or work to improve your focus.  An ADHD coach can also help you discover which strategies work best for you.


Did you already know that fidgeting was a way that helped you focus?  Tell us about it.  We’d love hearing from you about how you keep your edge!


Do you have a student with ADHD heading off for college?

Do you have a student with ADHD heading off for college? Would you like some tips in helping convince them they could benefit from an ADHD coach? In this video, former executive director, Sarah Wright, explains how coaching is different from tutoring or therapy. For a free ADHD college readiness quiz visit…

What is the difference between an organizational coach and an Edge Coach?

One of the questions recently raised on Facebook was what is the difference between organizational and Edge Coaching. Organizational and Edge Coaches do have a lot in common.  The best answer to this question comes in the form of a Tweet from professional organizer, Jeri Dansky: Coaching is coaching, but not all organizing challenges come from ADHD, and not all ADHD challenges are organizing. Yes, organizational issues are a hallmark of ADHD, however, there are many other executive functions that an Edge Coach also can help a person address including:

  • Scheduling
  • Goal Setting
  • Focusing
  • Prioritizing
  • Sticking with it when it gets tough (a.k.a. persistence)
  • Impulsiveness

An Edge Coach helps people with Executive Functioning challenges like ADHD build strategies to work with their strengths to counter their weaknesses. You can’t organize yourself into focusing or being less impulsive. But most people with ADHD do need help getting organized.