The ADHD Smarter Parenting’s Podcast

Bonus episode: In difficult times, seek out the helpers

January 15, 2021

Hi, friends. Checking-in as we know that the world feels very chaotic right now and it can be hard to know how to best handle the chaos.

This is a bonus episode of the ADHD Smarter Parenting podcast. We felt like it was important to reach out to you and to help you navigate everything that's happening in the world today. Along with the pandemic and all of the other things that have been happening around the world, this is a trying time for parents and especially for children. I wanted to give you some tips and suggestions on things for you to consider as you navigate this difficult time.

There's specifically three things I want you to be aware of. Number one, be aware that you are the filter for your children. The way things are transpiring and the way that things are happening, they are seeing the world not only for themselves, but also through the filter that you give them. So be careful and be aware of the way that you present the information, the way that you share the information, and the way that you react to the information that you are seeing. It's important for you to understand that you are giving your child permission to behave in the same way. Be aware.

Now, the second thing is, if your child is struggling and you are struggling, the best thing you can do is to listen. Take some time to ask some questions and just listen. If you know the skill of Effective Communication from Smarter Parenting, you realize that step number four is where you actually start sharing your perspective on things. There are three steps before that that require you to focus and to listen. So if you get stuck, ask questions, listen, probe, find out more, understand a little bit more about what's going on.

Now, the last thing I want you to keep in mind is something that was shared with me that I thought was fantastic. It's the advice given by Mister Rogers. I don't know if you're familiar with Mister Rogers back in the 1960s and '70s. He was a pioneer in children's programming and helped children learn about difficult topics through his show on PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service.

He says that whenever there are difficult times, it's important for you to help your children look for the helpers. Now, I want you to think about that. Looking for the helpers, who are the helpers around us? Who are the people that are reaching out and helping other people? You can help your children navigate this difficult time by helping them recognize the helpers that are out there.

Let me give you a brief example. When I'm watching the news or I am listening to the radio and there's so much going on, I don't find a lot of reporting on the helpers that out there, or really an in-depth look at the helpers. There's a lot of ranting, and raving, and screaming, and tantrum behaviors that is happening on the news. But, I was able to recognize that within my own community, as I went to the store, as I would visit the office or a different place, or even go somewhere for supplies, that there are people out there who are the helpers.

I went into a grocery store and surprisingly, the cashier was very positive and very helpful, asking if I had found everything, asking if I had a good day. Just really there, present in the moment. That's somebody who's a helper, that's somebody who is looking out and making a connection with somebody on a daily basis. You can find the helpers. They're around you, you just have to pay attention, and sometimes you have to learn how to tune out the noise from other people who are just louder than they are and you'll find helpers all over the place. These can include essential workers. I did go in to get a shot in a medical clinic, and even there, the person giving me the shot, the nurse was extremely kind. Very, very kind and thoughtful. She's a helper. The cashier at the store was a helper. I had a neighbor drop off some treats just because, that neighbor's helper. There are helpers.

And if we focus and help our children focus on recognizing who these helpers are, it really does make a difference in getting them to understand our time and giving nuance in context, that even though we struggle and there are really a lot of things happening in the world, that there still is good out there if we look and if we find it. It's the same principle with your own kids. When we look for the good, we will find the good. So consistently look for the good and Effectively Praise them.

I'm offering these as suggestions for you during this tumultuous time that we are living in. Not only during the pandemic and school shut downs and so much more, these are things that I really wanted parents to keep in mind. I will talk to you again on the podcast later. That's it from me, have a good day. Bye.

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