For many children with ADHD, coaching helps them learn techniques to be more focused, stay on task, and improve time management and organizational skills. These skills are the building blocks for success in the future. By initiating the coaching process with school-aged children, we are able to keep students motivated and help them to build self-confidence and self-awareness during the formative years.
Coaching can be successful with children who have the cognitive ability to understand rewards and consequences. The level of understanding varies by age and by the individual child. If the child can understand that completing a task, such as brushing teeth, will result in a sticker or token, a positive reward, it is possible to institute a coaching program. Many times the coaching is most successful when the parents, families and/or school personnel are actively involved in the process. Together the coach and child collaborate with the “team” to design an appropriate coaching program. This process requires the coach helping the child to explore and identify motivators, in particular external ones that will be appealing to the child.
Readiness for the coaching process is critical to results/success in children. Chronological age is not always the best indicator for children with ADHD. They may mature more slowly than their peers. It is important to be sure that the child is ready to work independently with an “outsider”. It is recommended with young children, ranging in age from 5 to 8 that the coaching is done directly with the parents. In turn, the parents will implement the coaching plan and set the structures at home and at school. Choose a coach who has had positive experiences working with the age group in which your child falls. When the child is slightly older, it may be helpful to arrange for coaching sessions with both the parents and the child, separately and as a team.
Coaching is a beneficial tool for many children. Choosing a coach who has experience working with children, understands the intricacies of the ADHD brain, medications and co-existing conditions is of the utmost importance. It is essential to work with a coach who has a good rapport with the child. Be sure that the young client interview the coach before the process begins. The connection between coach and client, of any age, is essential for coaching to be a success.
JST Coaching & Training is the leading authority on student coaching and ADHD/EF student coaching worldwide. We are committed to delivering interactive, heart-centered, high-quality training that equips our clients with the mindset, skills, and resources they need to create permanent, transformational impacts with their students. Join us!