A twenty something with ADHD can find it extra hard to launch into life. Every step so far has taken extra effort. Fitting in feels like a chore and designing a life can feel nearly impossible.
How does one get out of one’s own way and create a clear roadmap to life? The young person with ADHD and the parents can feel stuck and overwhelmed.
The first step to launching into life is sprouting wings. The young adult must learn to fly and the parent’s role is to provide the launch pad.
Create a vision of what you want in your life for the next five years. What does that look like to you?
We parents can empower our children to create their vision for their lives. Very often, we create our own vision of what we feel would be best for our children’s lives. This may be different than what our child envisions.
As parents, it is helpful for us to reflect on our early twenties. How did we feel about our lives and how we wanted to make our choices?
I remember feeling completely independent from my parents. I wanted to make my own choices. I was married at twenty-one and working following graduation from college.
When my daughter with ADHD was twenty something, I did not have this understanding of what she was feeling at that time. Yes, launching into life was very difficult for her. Like many parents, I thought I knew what was best for her. This approach was not empowering.
So what approach is empowering? For the young adult, it is looking at what it will take to become independent and self-sufficient. Ask yourself, “What are my needs and my wants? How can I attain them?”
Answering these questions takes conscious planning. Then it takes baby steps to make the plan happen. This is especially important when ADHD is present. Make goals, create realistic steps and be patient with yourself.
Parents can support their children to succeed by helping them to take small steps toward the goals their child envisions. The best tool for growing wings is the self-confidence that comes with making and carrying out choices for oneself.
This is a scary step for parents to loosen the reins but the benefits for child and parent are limitless.