The #1 Key To Help Children With ADHD Follow Directions

By April 1, 2014 ADHD, Listening 2 Comments

Children with ADHD tend to struggle with following directions when they’re told… first time…second time…third time…and beyond!

If you ever thought, “I love my child but I don’t know what to DO to get her to follow directions” you are in the right place.

Children with ADHD and other “extra needs” have intense brain chemistry, meaning the portion of the brain responsible for paying attention is hijacked.  (Children with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Giftedness have similar neural wiring).

When that part of the brain is hijacked it places you in one of the most annoying positions of child-rearing.  As the behavior police you find yourself constantly telling her what to do and when to do it.

The worst part is that you know SHE KNOWS what to do but she just won’t do it!

Whether your child suffers from hyper-focus, distractibility, or a strong need to control the solution is always the same, calming the “fire” in her brain so she can access other areas that help her pay attention.

Do you remember when your child was a baby? When you held her closely and she followed your co-parent with her eyes as they walked across the room? That was an early sign of calm

Or how about when you snuggled her soft baby neck and she smiled at you to show she liked your kisses? That was an early sign of calm, plus a healthy relationship indicator

Or how about when you babbled baby noises to her and she coo-ed in return? We are building skills here: an early sign of calm, plus a healthy relationship, plus showing off a new skill. 

As you see, the one thing those all have in common is calm within your child’s brain. And because she is calm (aka: her “fight or flight” response feels safe and relaxed) she advances up the developmental ladder to form a healthy relationship with you and then develop (and show off!) her new, genius skill of paying attention.

So what happens when your child’s brain isn’t calm, rather it’s flooded with “fight or flight” stress chemicals? As it happens, any time there is imbalance in the brain “bad” symptoms appear.

As a baby she’ll cry without being able to self-soothe even though you bounce or rock her and do everything you can think of.

As a toddler she’ll be bothered by tags in clothing, certain noises, and you being in charge.

As a preschooler she’ll throw tantrums, insist on being in control and have a keen ability to “manipulate.”

As a school-aged child she’ll continuing demonstrating some of these same symptoms along with poor attention span, defiance, power struggles and high intensity emotions.

When you become aware of exactly what is going on in your child’s brain, along with practical parenting strategies to improve listening and self-control you can emerge from the negative downward spiral.

Help your child (and your family) get along better by learning more about “fire in the brain” and ways to create peace at home by accessing our free gift…

…we recently recorded a 60-minute webinar describing what most parents call “the most critical missing link” to gaining their child’s cooperation and want to share it with you today.

Watch it for FREE on YouTube here and share it with your child’s teacher, therapist and pediatrician.

A calm, emotionally healthy relationship with your child is the greatest predictor of success and happiness in life

I’d love to hear from you…

…What gift do you most wish to draw out in your child to fully enjoy life together?

Share a comment below.  As always, thank you for reading and joining in!


  • A child with these diagnosis’ CAN’T not won’t as you stated in “What’s most perplexing is that she KNOWS what to do she just won’t do it!”
    Its very misleading for people to think they are being defiant on purpose. There is always missing link or communication processing breakdown if a child is not doing what you have asked.
    If a child can they would!
    Yes the children know what to do but theres something preventing them from doing it and therefore they can’t not won’t.

    • Samantha says:

      I agree completely. Children want to be good and feel loved. If they “won’t” there is something getting in the way and we need to dig deeper to find the root and correct it.

Leave a Reply

thirteen + four =