I am so happy to have the opportunity to attend the international conference of CHADD this week. If you have read my other posts and/or are familiar with ADHD, you know that CHADD is the organization for Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Barbara Colorosa was the keynote speaker for tonight’s conference opening and she was phenomenal. She has a book titled “Kids Are Worth It!” and the title of her talk was “Kids Are Worth It! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline.” You can find more information on her website at www.KidsAreWorthIt.com. If you aren’t familiar with Barbara, you should check it out (especially the handouts and book selections).
There was so much to learn from her, I could type for hours. Instead, I thought I would share the messages that resonated with me the most. You can apply these concepts to any child and I think they are especially helpful for children with ADHD. She talked about T.A.O. which she uses to represent Time, Affection and Optimism. An underlying theme of her talk was that we should treat our kids the way we want to be treated. Simple, but powerful, isn’t it?
She started me thinking about ways I can implement T.A.O. at home with my own kids.
From the Time standpoint, I spend more time with my kids now that I’m not in the corporate world, but Barbara has me thinking…. am I spending real quality time with them? Sure, I’m home, but if I’m at the computer when I could be talking and visiting with them am I missing something? I will challenge myself to spend more real time with my kids and be more present for them.
I think I do pretty well with Affection, except when the kids have misbehaved. So the next time one of my kids misbehaves, I need to figure out how to stay more calm and show them affection while teaching them how to take responsibility for their mistake. Barbara gave an example of time outs being used more as a cooling off period than a punishment – she mentioned that the cooling off period could be sitting on mom’s lap for younger children. Something interesting to think about isn’t it?
Optimism presents a lot of different opportunities for me to model it to my kids. In addition, I want to help them to learn to think more optimistically about school, friends, activities and life in general.
If you are a parent, I would be thrilled to hear from you on this topic. What do you think about T.A.O.? How can you implement these principles in your home?
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