I feel like I’m responding too much to this thread, but I am enjoying all the feedback to the original poster. As an adult with ADD, I commend these parents for wanting the best for their kids. I also see these parents trying to force square pegs into round holes because they do not understand how the ADHD brain works. You may also be inadvertently making your child feel even more like a failure. They’re disappointing you for not living up to your expectations of them. They’re disappointing themselves (believe me we don’t like feeling the way we do). They’re disappointing their teachers. How do you bounce back from all that? Forcing your child to do things that they don’t want to do (even if it’s for their own good) will only create more resistence and resentment. I agree with the parents who sit down patiently and try to understand what their child wants, what they’re interested in, how they can help their child achieve that goal which makes them feel validated rather than damaged, rather than telling them what they need to do, how they should do it & comparing them with other people in their class & age-group which further emphasizes what’s wrong with them. Asking “What are you going to do next year?” requires planning, organizing & goal setting which all require executive function which is also a problem that most people with ADHD struggle with. Pressure & overwhelming are the words that comes to mind. Even now, I have to sit down & break things down into very small pieces otherwise I will give up before I even get started. The struggle is always there.
I agree with what Gary said earlier about motivation needing to be internal. There comes a point in the mind and life of a person with ADHD where WE have to determine how we want OUR lives to play out. Better late than never & it also comes with a lot of trial & error. No amount of outside nagging will do it. We all know that nagging doesn’t work on neurotypicals either, right? I still think dopamine is the key. Dopamine affects motivation, mood, focus & practically everything that people with ADHD deal with.
I also agree with Stachj about ADHDs being non-traditional. Motiviation techniques that works on non-ADHDers will likely NOT work people with ADHD. Even as an adult, I can’t seem to bribe myself into doing the things I know I should be doing. I do find your story about your son & swimming very interesting. Sometimes you have to let your child make his own decisions & sometimes if a child has an aversion to something, there may be a good reason for it even if it seems illogical to a neurotypical parent. Perhaps intuitively we know our limitations? I also had an aversion to driving. I wonder why so many of us have that issue.