ADHD counselling for children. In this blog I write about how hard it is for some young people to comply with adult expectations, if you would like any more information, please feel free to get in touch with me, I would be happy to hear from you.
Why is some young people’s behaviour challenging and why is punishment ineffective for some young people? If you are reading this then you are probably wondering why a young person you know or love behaves the way they do despite the they have received from you, their school, maybe CAMHS and others.
Maybe they might even behave in ways that exasperate you so much that you have begun to wonder if they have ADHD or maybe you think they might be “on the spectrum”, to use that vague expression. Maybe they have already received a diagnosis of ADHD or ODD or similar?
Is it genetic? Is it how we are raised that causes ADHD? Is it environmental? Is it a combination of all these things? These questions, like our worries and concerns, can go round in our minds as we search for answers and they can go on for ever. Let’s forget about these difficult questions for a moment and walk in the shoes of the person we feel has ADHD symptoms.
This is the DFE statement on page 7 in their guidance to Head Teachers and school staff about discipline in schools.
“Teachers can discipline pupils whose conduct falls below the standard which could reasonably be expected of them. This means that if a pupil misbehaves, breaks a school rule or fails to follow a reasonable instruction the teacher can impose a punishment on that pupil.”
I wonder how a teacher might know what reasonable behaviour is. We all have an idea about the behaviour we want to see in schools, about what we want our children to experience and about how we want our children to behave. We also have a clear picture in our minds of our own experiences in school when we were children.
We remember the youngsters who just seemed to “get it” and were always out performing the others in terms of academic achievement and we remember the children who were not able to succeed in the same way as the others.
We all shared school with individuals who came from a variety of backgrounds, who had developed unique ways of managing the world. Some children were able to concentrate on their studies and some were not. Some children and young people understood and were able to achieve academic success in the school environment and some were not at a place in their lives where that was possible.
Life-long limiting self beliefs that develop in childhood due to messages received during our school days are as dangerous to a child as they are wrong.
To imagine that a prescriptive set of rules can be understood and adhered to by all students is farfetched and does not recognise children as individuals.
It’s like saying that the only way to swim The Channel is to use breast stroke but what happens if someone has only ever swum on their backs, watching the sky.
Without understanding and clarity on both sides, students and teachers, rules can simply be there, adhered to by some and inadvertently broken by others who see rules as random lines drawn in the sand that they are bound to cross, despite their best efforts.
School is the place to teach the meaning of society. Expectations are necessary in school for it is the place where our citizens and community learns about itself. However, it is also necessary to help some young people live up to these expectations and this is how counselling helps. In counselling we listen and hear and understand before we assume. In this way, helping a young person to feel accepted and validated, a young person develops an understanding of themselves without shame or judgement.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you would like advice about counselling or any other issue I have raised in this blog. Thank you for reading.