Parent 1: "John, you have a busy weekend coming up. You have to go to Tim's football game, then you have a party Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday grandma and grandpa are coming to dinner. When are you getting all your homework done?"
Parent 2: "John, you have a busy weekend coming up. You may want to check the schedule so you can figure out what's the best time to get your homework done."
Which example feels more respectful? Which way would you rather receive information? What is the likelihood that John will be able to process all the information given in the first example? How do you think John will respond to parent #1?
This works for small children as well. In fact, elementary school children feel great about themselves when they complete a checklist or have schedules to refer to.
LINDA RICHMAND is a Certified Empowerment and Life Coach who specializes in working with adults with ADD and parents of children with ADD and/or learning disabilities. A member of CHADD, IPEC and ICF, she leads workshops throughout Westchester and meets with clients individually at offices in Chappaqua and Full Circle Family Care in White Plains. She is the mother of three children ages 18, 16 and 10. (914) 238-1041; www.CoachRichmand.com.