"Can I Offer You a Reframe?"

This past February I became certified to teach ImpactADHD's Sanity School Live. It's a program that I would have soaked up like a sponge 10+ years ago when my kids were younger. I love the coach approach to parenting complex kids of all ages.  And even though it wasn't something that I experienced when mine were in the throes of their personal "hard stuff" - aka, elementary and middle school - there was plenty to take away from this coursework as a parent of teens and even young adults.

For those of us who have been at this a few decades, we are well aware that parenting does not come to a hard stop when they turn 18. We may wish that at times, and our kids may too, but overall this journey is one that does not end - it simply shape shifts into a new phase at each turn in their development.

One of the biggest roadblocks for humans in general is how we can become entrenched in our own perceptions and perspectives when things start to feel hard. I could deep dive into the neuroscience behind stress, emotions, the brain and executive function for days*. What I most appreciate about the tempo and mindset of Sanity School is the opportunity to be received where I am and also to be offered a reframe when I'm stuck in my own story.

I love the way that Diane Dempster and Elaine Tayler-Klaus so warmly offer participants a passport to divergent thinking with one simple question: "Can I offer you a reframe?" The invitation to rethink your position, come at a challenging situation or struggle from a different angle often opens up your mind to possible pathways or conclusions that were not in your original menu.

When we are stuck in a negative story, a reframe can open our minds to alternative possibilities and provide permission to dream and brainstorm a brighter outcome or more positive approach than the one we are mulling over. This exact approach works well with ANYONE, not just parents. Offering someone the opportunity to think outside of their current box can be liberating. It is a coach's a gentle challenge of current beliefs. If you are open to the challenge, the journey can be enlightening.

 *If you are interested in reading more on my favorite topic, you check out the article I published on EF and college here, you can find it sprinkled throughout my various blog posts, or you can check out www.CHADD.org for the latest research.