Chaos Free Family is a learning series and support environment specially designed for parents of children with ADHD and Executive Functions deficits. Coach Mary E. Smith, AAC, guides you to a better understanding of ADHD, your child’s behaviors, and what it takes to live chaos free with ADHD.

Your Lessons

ADHD was once thought to be a behavioral disorder.  This created the perspective that children with ADHD only needed to try harder, care more, or even be punished more to get things done.  Research has revealed ADHD to be a developmental disorder affecting one’s ability to regulate focus and attention.  Ever wonder why your child can memorize every Pokémon character but can’t memorize their spelling words? This lesson helps you set a new perspective of ADHD as you learn the reasons behind the inconsistencies in your child’s behavior.

ADHD can make confident parents question their parenting skills.  And, while ADHD is not caused by bad parenting, many parents miss out on key opportunities to help their child better manage ADHD.  This lesson demonstrates the importance of adopting a “coaching parent” mindset as you nurture your child toward confident independence.  This new perspective is a key component to strengthening (or repairing) the relationship with your child.

The Executive Functions are the special set of cognitive skills that help us convert our intentions to actions.  These include the ability to sustain focus, manage time, organize thoughts and things, control our emotions, and more.  This lesson defines each skill and explains how the developmental delay of ADHD impacts your child’s ability to use them.  Parents are taught how to identify the key skill(s) related to their child’s challenges and given examples of how to better support them. 

MANAGING TRANSITIONS (Task Initiation and Completion)
Most parents confuse the difficulty in starting and completing tasks with their child’s desire to do so.  And the frustration of needing to give multiple prompts often leads parents to view their child as defiant.  The reality is children with ADHD often have trouble moving from one activity to another or initiating non-preferred tasks.  This lesson shows parents how to work with their child’s brain activation system so they can be more successful on the first request.  Parents tell us this lesson alone reduced half the stress in their homes!

Planning and prioritization are critical parts of effective time management.  This lesson highlights how people with ADHD generally set priorities based on interest instead of need and urgency.  Parents are instructed how to create a visual representation of their child’s priorities to help teach better decision making.  Parents will also create a visual time map to help establish daily routines like getting ready for school, completing homework, and getting to bed on time.

People (including children) with ADHD tend to be visual, tactile, or experiential learners.  This means simply telling them what to do or handing them a list is often not effective.  This lesson describes how children learn, the phases of skills development, and the role of the parent in each phase.  Parents are also provided an opportunity to assess the child’s level of independence for a set of life skills.  Many parents will use this lesson to identify and prioritize process improvements for the future.

ADHD impacts the brain’s Reward Circuit.  This is why traditional motivation and punishment methods often fail to help parents correct their child’s behavior.  This lesson explains how adjustments to the parent’s approach to challenging situations can set the course for a permanent change in the child’s behavior.  No more yelling, lectures, or revoking privileges; just results.  

The self-regulation deficits associated with ADHD can extend to the ability to control intense emotions.  This often means parents see their children as overly sensitive or fragile.  Many parents find themselves at a loss of how to help their child during these times of intense emotions.  This lesson introduces a strategy parents can use to help their child recover from a loss of emotional control (meltdown) and set them on a course to find calm.

Using the information and techniques from Correcting Behavior Part 1, parents learn how to correct (redirect) their child’s behavior, in the moment, without descending into the chaos of an argument or meltdown.  No more waiting to “catch your child doing something right” – parents learn to create those successful moments for their child.

With a new perspective of ADHD and new strategies to solve the most common challenges, it is time to focus on optimizing your child’s life processes.  The Chaos Free Improvement Method is the same method Mary uses to coach her private clients to success.  Building upon what you gained from the previous lessons, this method will further develop your skills as a coaching parent and strengthen the collaborative relationship you are building with your child.

Presented in two parts, these lessons show parents how to get everyone on the same page and working together to develop an effective process.  No more putting in the time to find something that works only for a short time.  Part 2 will show parents how to use a support plan that ensures this new process becomes the child’s habit.

Course Logistics

NO start dates. NO need to wait for a class. Start at Lesson 1 the day you sign up!

NO childcare hassles. NO drive time.

Complete your lessons at your convenience. Even spend extra time on a lesson.

Short videos focus on learning objectives and present examples.

Printable notes pages with key facts so you can focus on learning.

Ask questions and get advice from your coach in weekly video support calls. Daytime and evening calls.

Optional – Suggested for parents wanting one-on-one help to implement strategies. Sign up for Chaos Free Family PLUS for private support calls with your coach.