If you have read the other two blogs on ADHD and girls, you know that we have a massive need to fill. Our girls are being overlooked and misdiagnosed (see blog). They internalize their struggle resulting in devastating results later in life, self-harm and suicide.
What can we do to help our girls?
- praise your girl for her talents
- express recognition of her struggle
- give encouragement
- acknowledge her strengths – a lot
- normalize the ADHD accommodations if she has them
- assist her with finding structure, planning and organization tips
- help with sleep
- teach assertiveness
- help with social challenges
- praise effort not result
- Reframe difficulties as opportunities
- Remind them that a broader set of situations and choices await them post high school.
An interesting, although not surprising, find. Studies show that girls who believe they can succeed academically will:
- have better outcomes over time
- fewer problems with mood or anxiety
- fewer problems with behavior issues and poor choices (poor judgement)
- less risk for substance abuse later in life
On a more personal note. I grew up with undiagnosed ADHD. I was finally diagnosed in my 20’s. Here are some things that helped me.
- My parents had realistic expectations for my grades.
- My parents tried to help me feel normal as someone who struggles in school.
- I had a recreation that I was good at.
- I was believed in and loved unconditionally.
- I had friends in multiple places (church, recreation, school). If I was rejected in one area, I always had friends somewhere else.
- I was a part of a church youth group.
- Kindness, resiliency, and integrity were valued perhaps even more than grades.
Resource: Nadeau, K.G., Littman, E. B., Quinn, P.O. (2015), Understanding Girls with ADHD (pp. xiii-xx). N.W. Washington, DC: Advantage Books, LLC.
Do you know someone who might be ADHD? Let’s help her. Contact me and maybe I can give you some direction. I’d be happy to help.
Do you know someone struggling with the trials and triumphs of ADHD. These kids learn differently, think differently and parenting strategies almost always backfire with them. There are answers to these problems, and they make life so much easier. I’d like to help. Schedule a phone consultation, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cristin Mullen, MS MFT, LAMFT – Cristin is an Associate Licensed master’s level family therapist with a passion for ADHD. She has worked with kids as a teacher, a counselor, a substance abuse therapist, and a Psychology Associate within juvenile corrections. Cristin believes that ADHD kids are our future innovators and leaders. Her mission, through ADHD Coaching, is to help families raise ADHD kids to their full potential, ultimately making community and society a better place for all of our children.