Ask the Experts

Are You Enabling Your Child’s Won’t-Try-Anything-New Inflexibility?

When kids with ADHD refuse to try new things — like summer activities not involving a game console — they are displaying inflexibility, but also a fear of failure. Parents must not accommodate this behavior and allow the fear to grow, but instead expose their child to as many new experiences as possible.

ADHD boy refusing to do new things
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Q: “All of my son’s normal summer activities are canceled and he refuses to try anything new that I suggest. Do I force him to try new things, or do I let him play video games all summer long?”

A: “It’s not true that your son doesn’t like anything but video games; the truth is that you’ve been accommodating his inflexibility so that he thinks he doesn’t like anything but video games. It’s OK to make your son try new things; it’s OK to expose your son to new experiences that you think he will enjoy and that will help him. Kids with ADHD often say No to things that are new or unfamiliar, often because they fear they won’t be good at it… ”

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW FOR THE FULL ANSWER TO PARENTS

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW FOR A COMPLEMENTARY ANSWER TO SHOW YOUR CHILD

ADHD and Trying New Things: More Resources

1. Read This: How Do I Get My Son to Branch Out Beyond Video Games?
2. Read This: New, Strange Experiences Terrify My Child!
3. Read This: New Research Links Picky Eating to ADHD


Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel.

Submit your questions about ADHD in boys here!

Updated on September 9, 2020

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