Coach Caroline Maguire answers the question ‘Why will no one play with me?’
ADHD Coach Caroline Maguire is about to celebrate the release of her new book and we’re thrilled she came back to share the story of the book, and why social skills are so critical for kids and adults alike in healthy development.
ADHD Coach Caroline Maguire is back! She’s a coach, author, teacher, and speaker with a special focus in social skills supporting kids — and parents of kids — with ADHD. She’s just about to celebrate the release of her new book, Why Will No One Play with Me?: The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive and we’re thrilled she came back to share the story of the book, and why social skills are so critical for kids and adults alike in healthy development.
Her book is scheduled for launch in September, but follow the links below to be notified of availability or pre-order now.
Links & Notes
- Why Will No One Play with Me?: The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive by Caroline Maguire Pre-order Now
- Learn more about Caroline Maguire
- Caroline Maguire on Facebook
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Pete: Hello, everybody, and welcome to “Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast” on trustory.fm. I’m Pete Wright, and right there is Nikki Kinzer.
Nikki: Hello, everyone. Hello, Pete.
Pete: Hi, Nikki.
Nikki: How are you?
Pete: Well, I’m good. I’m actually relieved. We were talking before the show. The “Game of Thrones” is over as we record this. It just ended last night. And I am relieved not in any way related to the show itself, but just the fact that it’s over and we can move on to some new hysteria. That’s what I’m excited about. It’s over. It’s done.
Nikki: It’s over. It’s done.
Pete: Our collective consciousness can move on.
Pete: And I’m very excited about that because maybe our collective consciousness will move from “Game of Thrones” to the new book that is written by our guest today. What do you think the odds are of that? Are there dragons in the new book? That’s the real question that we have.
Caroline: No, there’s no dragon.
Pete: There’s no dragons, okay. Well…
Caroline: I did…I’m not sure I can keep with that.
Pete: All right. Well, we’ll do our best. Before we actually start in that conversation, head over to takecontroladhd.com, get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list and we’ll send you an email each time a new episode is released. You can connect with us on Twitter or Facebook @takecontroladhd, and if this show has ever touched you or helped you make change in your life for the better, we sure would appreciate it if you would consider supporting us with your hard-earned dollars over at patreon.com/theadhdpodcast. That supports that cost of production of the show. It supports our cost in investing in travel and new equipment. And, you know, one little nugget of things that it supports is transcripts of the show. We’re able to start doing transcripts, full transcripts of every episode beginning a couple of months ago.
So now, if you go to takecontroladhd.com and look at one of the recent episodes of the podcast, you will be able to scroll down and just keep scrolling. Just keep scrolling because it’s long. These posts are long. But they’re right there on the website, takecontroladhd.com. You can find the podcast and the transcript on this in the same place. Just click on Podcast, you’ll find it. And so, that comes thanks to the support of our generous, generous members at patreon.com/theadhdpodcast. Get access to the discord chat server, which is where people are chatting right now, an incredible community of folks living with ADHD and supporting one another as well. You’ll also get access to the live stream of this very podcast recording. You can see it as it happens and all the “Game of Thrones” talk that happens before the show. How would you wanna miss that? It’s hot stuff and that happens. Thanks to your support as well. So thank you, everybody, for supporting us and we hope you’ll consider doing that in the future if you haven’t yet.
Okay, on to the main business. Caroline Maguire is back. She’s a coach, author, teacher, and speaker with a special focus in social skills supporting kids and parents of kids with ADHD. The last time she was here, we talked all about social skills and she’s back today to talk about her upcoming book, “Why Will No One Play with Me? The Play Better Plan to Help Children of All Ages Make Friends and Thrive.” Caroline Maguire, welcome back to “The ADHD Podcast.”
Caroline: Thank you so much for having me. I wanted to talk to your audience and sort of get ahead of the madness this fall when the book comes out and just also give people a little bit of a preview and let them know what’s coming and a little bit of hope, too. They’re having a hard time this month. A lot of teacher calls coming home don’t always makes for a great May.
Nikki: Any month. I had a period in my life where anytime the phone ring and it was the school and it said the public schools, I was just like, “Oh, what am I getting into? Do I wanna answer this call?” I don’t know.
Pete: Do you put it in your phone? Do you put it in your address book just so you know when not to answer the call? I do that. It’s terrible.
Nikki: Well, it just comes up on caller ID. So, I can see that it says the public school district, and it…yeah.
Pete: You just…
Nikki: Rarely is it really a good thing.
Pete: Right. You may need to strategize. Listen to the voicemail. Give yourself some time to breathe. Like, you can’t just pick up that call. That doesn’t make for a good experience.
Caroline: No, no.
Nikki: Well, welcome, Caroline. It’s so good to have you back and I definitely want us to dig in and talk a little bit about the…well, a lot about the book, actually. I definitely want us to give you or have you give our audience a preview. But I am curious, before we dig into that, how did you come up with the title of the book?
Caroline: So, the tittle’s actually interesting. So, 15 years ago, when I had this idea, I was working with a little boy and I asked him some kind of coaching question. We’re working on reading logs. Well, any of you who ever had an ADHD child know that they don’t fill up the reading log. They might actually read the book, but they don’t wanna fill up the log. And we were having some discussion. He was a little, little boy, like, seven, about, you know, why we need to do the reading log, why did he…what’s hard about it kinda thing. I asked some question, like, you know, “If you could change anything, what would you change?” And I’m thinking we’re talking about reading logs. And he just looked at me and he said, “I would like to know why no one plays with me.”
And I had already sort of been really struck by how much social skills was affecting my clients and the parents. And nobody had play dates and people aren’t asked back, and the parents have no social life then because nobody’s playing with their kid. And it just, like, rang in my head. And so when I was doing my master’s thesis, I told the professors the story and we were looking at titles. And one of my professors who’s a really amazing woman from Lesley said, “This is the one you should pick. This says it all.” And so, I have been referring this whole thing that way ever since and really always thinking of the kids I work with who often really wanna know why no one plays with them. Why don’t they have friends? Why don’t people approach them?
Nikki: What’s the age group then that we’re looking at that you’re targeting for this book? Is it younger kids or does it matter?
Caroline: Every kid. So, one thing that they changed because I’ve used these methods with everyone from 5 to 25 and there’s such tremendous demand for this that the methods can be aged up and aged down. And so, it’s really…you know, as you know, it’s the ability to have a dialogue and we use questions. So, anybody from 5 to 25, I would say, probably next book will be more focused on teenagers and young adults. But for now, I know that parents are desperate for a resource. And the other thing I should know is it is not just for ADHD kids or kids on a spectrum. This can be used with any kid, shy kids, introverts, kids who’ve moved to often and therefore, don’t have any friends.
Nikki: That’s good to know because, you know, now that I’m looking at the title, it actually doesn’t specifically say ADHD.
Caroline: No. It’s really not an ADHD book only. It’s really that I passed to these methods with our people, right? And then, it applies and I’ve been using it, and I now have clients who are neurotypical. They’re just shy. You know, they are introverted. They can focus. It’s, like, really amazing. [inaudible 00:07:42]. I ask them to do stuff and they do it. It’s strange. But the ADHD kids are obviously my people. I love them. But there’s just tremendous need. And also, we have to remember that because of stigma, a lot of people don’t get a diagnosis. So, whether we agree or disagree with that, that’s a fact. So, we have a huge population of people who are sort of going toward our ADHD materials, but they are not seeking a formal diagnosis.
Nikki: Very true. I see that are actually a lot more recently when I will talk to people, clients, or people who are interested in my groups and they’ll say that they’ve never actually been formally diagnosed, but they feel like that’s their tribe, that they get it. So, it is an interesting trend for sure. So, is the book then for parents to read? Is it for parents to read with their children? How do you want this read to people?
Caroline: So, this book is for parents. The book is to teach parents how to coach their kid. It’s all the stuff we use professionals know that, you know, if you look at social skills curriculums, if you look at most books about this stuff, they’re, like, unintelligible. They’re really…you need a master’s. You need a PhD. They’re jargon. And my famous story is that my husband who once came to my office and I said, “You know, if I died and our kids needed this, wouldn’t you take one of these and try to figure it out?” And he opened the book and he’s like, “This is unintelligible, no.” He says, “I will never figure this out.”
And so, the whole thing has taken me 15 years. Why it’s taken so long is that I take in all of this in material and I translated it into very user-friendly materials so that any parent with any level of education can open this book and say, “Okay, what do I do?” And it has a lot of prescriptive elements. So, it’s like, you know, Whole30. There’s gonna be, like…but what happens is kind of sidebar so that if you’re working through this and you’re, like, “My kid won’t even have talk with me,” there’s a little sidebar when your kid has disappearing acts and will not even speak with you. How do you get into this?
Nikki: Okay. So, what are we going to learn? If your child comes up and says, “Why will no one play with me,” how would you approach that? What are we gonna learn from this book?
Caroline: So, I think one of the biggest thing is that we have to kind of…the front half of the book is all about executive functions, social skills, and why not to wait it. A lot of parents wait and see. But, you know, if the kid could do well, they would do well. So, a big piece of the front half of the book is really talking about that element of, you know, why aren’t they taking this up kind of intuitively, and then how do you move forward from there? Because I think parent…it’s a very touchy issue. It’s a very hard issue. A ton of grandparents actually come up to me and attend my talks because they had that kid who never got help. And now, they’re seeing it repeated with grandchildren, and they don’t want this for their kids and for their grandkids.
So, I think the first thing you’re gonna learn is, like, why. Why does all this go on? And then, the next thing is that, and you guys probably hear this in the work you do, everybody has a story they kind of tell themselves. And a lot of these kids have a story, whether it’s “When I’m hungry and tired, it’s okay for me to be rude.” “If I don’t like somebody, I have to tell them. Otherwise, I’m inauthentic.” You know, all those ADD stories, I’m finding they’re really true for all kids who have social struggles. Like, a lot of the things we talk about and we hear from our clients, I hear from people even if they’re not ADHD.
And that’s another big piece because if you don’t have the right mindset, then you’re not gonna try to get better because you’re like, “Hey, people should come to me. I’m not gonna go to people.” Well, no. That’s not how it works. So, that’s a huge piece that parents are gonna get. And that goes along with why the kids resist help, why the teens, why do adults, right, is a lot of that story piece where we say, “Oh, you know, I’m good the way I am.” And you have sort of those deflector shields off, and don’t even try. And that’s rare. That’s not something that happens with everything in life. It’s really very germane to like these social and tough issues.
Pete: I can’t listen to you talk about this and not, like, supplant all of these things or just remove all of the age-specificity to it. Everything you are saying is something I can hear in an adult ADHD brain, an adult ADHD mouth, an ADHD parent with an ADHD kid. That’s like, you know, welcome to Tuesday and trying to still figure out social skills as a 40-something, you know.
Caroline: Well, and I give talks that ADA and other groups for adults, and I attend adult social skills groups and they’re using my material at Mass. General. So, you know, it’s like I’m gonna just take this. And I do work with many young adults. I have so many millennials right now. It’s like crazy. And they’re all saying these stories. They’re clearer about their story than a five-year-old, but they’re, you know, [crosstalk 00:13:20]…
Pete: But then maybe sometimes they’re not.
Caroline: They’re [inaudible 00:13:22]. I swear, I had a five-year-old one day at, like, 3:00 say to me, “Look, I just want things the way that I want them.” At, like, 7:00 at night, a young adult said to me, “Look, I like things the way I like it and that’s just it, Caroline.” And I was like, “You two are the same.”
Pete: Yeah. That’s it.
Nikki: So, I just wanna be clear. So, in the book then, the first part is talking about the executive functions and giving parents and whoever is reading the book an explanation, what’s going on, this is why this is happening, almost normalizing it, I would assume, right, that, you know, you’re not strange. There’s a reason for all of these. Now, the second piece you were talking about was the stories that we tell. So in the book, are you then giving tools like coaching questions then for a parent to approach their child so that they begin to understand the stories? Like, I can see as an adult. I get what you’re saying. But do the young kids or even, like, with pain, the 25-year-olds, I mean, do they really understand what these stories are and how it affects them?
Caroline: Yeah. I have many exercises in that chapter about how do you ask about a story, how to detect a story, how to even just hear the things that your young person or kid is saying and understand that that’s a story, right? So giving people, you know, just that context of, you know, when someone says this, someone says, “I like it the way I like it,” that’s a story. And then, one of the chapters that’s really bridging between sort of the what happens for people and how do you fix this is a chapter called “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Social Skills Focus.” And the idea is that we teach people how to ask the open questions of coaching so that instead of saying, “You always talk about this story. You never are open to anything.” We’re teaching parents to ask questions. And I’ve been doing this for years so I know that parents can learn even to ask simple question like, “How come?” so that kids will tell them.
And, you know, what’s amazing is because our population is so smart, we are…like, I have kids who are fully willing to explain to me why they think they’re right, why the story is okay, you know. Like, they’re willing to tell me all of it if you just ask a question. So, that’s the real bridge, is that then their parents are gonna start to learn how to have that coaching conversation, which can also…actually, you mentioned Nikki, and Pete, I think you’ll jump right on this, can be used to have conversations…you know, maybe your kid is so resistant or your young adult. They’re not gonna sit down and do the next part, which is actually teaching the skills. Okay. But you still have a problem. So, the big piece of this book that people can just use is how do you have those conversations and kind of, like, open things up and get the kid to not disappear to the basement every day, you know, because that’s a huge piece. That’s worth the price of admission. I’m a mother so I know, you know.
Nikki: It is so true and it’s so interesting because I think, you know, we have a benefit because we’re coaches. And so, we were trained to communicate this way. And so, anytime that we’ve had issues with our children, I tend to step in because I am able to ask the coaching kind of questions where my husband’s not necessarily trained to do that. So, he may immediately, like, go a different route that’s gonna then put the defenses up, right? And so, I love the fact that you’re giving this education and these tools to parents to learn because it’s not hard. You just have to kind of remember to do it in the moment, I think is probably the hardest part, is getting your own emotions controlled, you know, and being able to do that.
Caroline: Well, and I’ve been doing this for so long that I knew parents can learn. You know, I had parents’ sessions. I had parents in the session. But it was interesting when we went to sell the book in 2017, I brought it…I was very lucky I had, like, 13 meetings, which is amazing. And all these publishing people started using this technique with their own kids. And my agent got phone calls, “Oh, my God. It really works.” Like, I just had a conversation. And my joke is it works with mothers-in-law. If you’re having one of these conflicts over Easter or Thanksgiving, ask them, you know, “Why is this turkey? What’s going on with this turkey,” you know. What is it about this turkey, you know? And so, what’s been interesting is that the whole publishing house is writing me emails, “I’m using this and my teenagers are actually talking to me.” And do I think we know that it works? And, you know, it’s very collaborative problem-solving, very raw stream. But it’s never really been applied to social, the idea that you have to know what’s going on for them. You know, not just to say, “Go into the cafeteria. Start joining with people. Sit there. Make chitchat. This is what you need to do.” They don’t do it then because there’s something going on for them that they would if they could, right? They would. They would go sit.
Nikki: Right, right. Just you saying that gives me anxiety, you know, thinking of being in the cafeteria and like, “Oh, there’s no way.”
Caroline: We could do that. I would never go back.
Pete: Well, the advice, we’ve done some research specifically on cafeteria anxiety for another project. That’s what…so, the advice is always so dumb. I mean, just what you just said, Caroline, it’s like, “You know, you can really overcome all of your cafeteria anxiety if you walk into the cafeteria with confidence.” Well, I’m done already, like, I don’t…why is that step one, dummy? That’s not…that’s the problem, all of the problem right there. It’s all of the problem. I can’t walk in. And this actually, we got the questions. Oh yeah, we got the question from a teacher who was experiencing anxiety walking into the teacher’s lounge and finding a place to eat in a middle school. Like, this is not just kids.
Pete: It’s all of us.
Caroline: It’s all of us. And a lot of my millennial, you know, sort of young adult clients, it’s not a cafeteria but it’s the Starbucks near work. It’s meeting with the mean boss who you know has, you know, passed it out for you. Or it’s just, you know, for some people who are more introverted, the idea of making small talk, it feels like climbing a mountain, or they don’t really know what to say so they sit in silence and then, people think you’re creepy. It’s not simple.
Pete: You know, it’s a question and I don’t know if it’s an observation or an opportunity for you to muse. I feel like as an adult, it gets harder to utilize these social skills to build deep relationships with other adults because of all of the complexities that go on with, you know, adulting and life, and you don’t have time and you’ve got kids, and you’ve got all these things. It’s hard to develop. Like, you have to…there was recess for grown-ups, like, where you could actually sit down on the railroad ties and eat a sandwich together and have a friendship, right? That doesn’t exist. And so, I get that it’s harder for adults. I wonder if, you know, helping kids…like, what is your observation as you help kids and parents help their kids to cement these skills when they’re pre-adolescence and adolescence? You know, how well do they make that transition into young adulthood, right? I mean, you’ve been doing this long enough. Have you seen kids start to make that transition to college especially when they’re complete fish out of water?
Caroline: Yeah. I mean, what’s interesting is, you know, I had to get testimonials for the book. So, I’ve been in touch with a lot of my clients who are now way too old. I’m not even gonna state how old they are because it ages me.
Pete: Yeah, you don’t. This is safe space, Caroline. We get it.
Caroline: You’ve even had them writing to me, you know, “My mom told me you wanna know what’s going on with me and they write me on LinkedIn.” And what I found is they absolutely do transition. You know, one of my clients wrote me this and I was literally, like, in tears. She said, “I’m still an introvert, but I am the best version of myself. I joined enough to have friends.” She’s doing study abroad right now. This is a kid who wouldn’t go to lunch, wouldn’t participate, wouldn’t talk to anyone, really believed vehemently that there was no need, there was no hope. And I think what happens is people have a shifted mindset. So, they not only have, like, new ways of doing things, but they know now how do you navigate the social world. And I’m not saying it’s not still work for them, right, because for some people, this is hard. But I think that what happens is either that or they get a new outlook in life and they’re like, “Wow, it’s really nice to have all these people.” So, I do think we all struggle with this, and you know, like, I’m turning down book club because I’m going to New York this week. I’m like, “God, I’m so antisocial. I’m not going to book club.” You know, we all struggle with that. But I think these people are also people who wanted this desperately, you know. And those…I can hear parents in my head saying “My kid doesn’t.” But remember, a lot of these kids didn’t. They didn’t want it because they were so fearful that they couldn’t get it. And then, eventually, they sort of changed to say, “Okay, I do want this.” And it took sometimes years.
Nikki: Which is why it’s so important that you’re addressing the stories that we tell, right? I mean, that’s why you do that before you jump into the solutions or the strategies.
Caroline: Yeah. Yeah. And my definition of social skills is different, too, Nikki. I say that it’s anything that holds you back from having adaptive behavior and from, you know, being able to fit into a group. So it applies, Pete, to adults. And everybody has a group. Even if you’re…in our day, it was goth, you know, blue hair, right? People who are goth and…
Pete: It was so goth and blue hair. Oh, yes. Oh, I wore a lot of black.
Nikki: I did, too.
Caroline: If you don’t have a group, that says something, right? That’s why there needs to be an adaptivity. And also, they did surveys and studies of skills and they ask them about social skills. And what they admitted was that they don’t need people to be perfect. They need them to be willing to adapt. So, that’s why I really feel like it’s anything that keeps you from having those adaptive behavior. It’s not just like chitchat and manners and stuff. It’s, like, if you believe that when you’re hangry, you can be rude to everyone. People have feelings about that.
Nikki: So, what’s the next part of the book then?
Caroline: So, they learn how to coach. And then, they fill out an executive function questionnaire about their child or teen, or young adult. And then, we go into, “Okay, now we’ve established that, you know, this person doesn’t read the room.” And we sort of ranked those kind of behaviors. And then, I have literally 150 social skills lessons with directions written for parents. So, they are straight to the point. They’re not unintelligible, and they are written so that you can bind the time and sit down with your kid and work on these behaviors.
There’s also, like, three chapters on how to get your kid to sit down because I can hear the moms out there saying, “My kid will not sit down.” And that’s why I say part of this is there are people, and we know this, who will never do a single lesson. They will use this book to get their kids to talk about these hard things. And that’s okay because in some cases, people know what to do. They just don’t do what they know, you know, as Russell Barton says. So, the social skills lessons are a huge piece and the troubleshooting or sort of managing resistance, how do you…you know, a shrug can be buy-in, you know. Would you be willing to work on this? And you don’t get, like, a “Yeah, Mom. I’m gonna do this with you.” You get, like, a shrug. Okay, that may be all you got, you know.
And then, sort of how do you sort of move through these change processes is another big part of the book. How do you know you’re kid is changing? How do you know what that change process looks like? I have this tool called “How Will You Know,” and it’s, like, signs of progress, and it’s things kids say at every point in change. So, you know, if a kid says to you…if we’re working on them thinking about others and being more considerate and stepping into people shoes, and they say, “Nikki likes to ride a red bike. So when she comes over, I’m gonna let her ride my red bike,” that’s a sign that things are changing. She’s probably not gonna come to you and say, “I had an epiphany,” and you think about other people more, you know. Like, you’re gonna hear it in a different way.
Nikki: Well, and you’re helping then the parents listen for that, which they may not have been listening for that before, yeah.
Caroline: And I love these kids for that reason. Like, you know, kids will say to me, “I interrupt and I don’t want anyone talk.” And I’m like, “Yes. That’s true, yeah.” And that’s how they show change, just like they’ve had this realization. They don’t package it up for us and say, you know, “I’ve had this realization that I need to change.” They say little stuff and we have to pay attention to that.
Pete: My question that gets to medication because what you just described is the experience that we had with my older daughter when she…you know, we had gave her the ADHD assessment and we went through a significant discernment process to address whether or not we were gonna try medication. And, you know, her experience was she has been quite appreciative of it, right, because what she says is, “Occasionally, I interrupt and I say things that are in my head immediately. That impulsivity kicks in and I don’t like that in high school. I don’t like that about myself, that I can’t stop that. But the medication, when I take the medication in the morning, I feel like what that introduces is a small impediment to that signal from my brain to my mouth. It gives me enough time to think, ”Wait a minute. I need to stop and consider is this the right thing to say in this context right now with this audience?" So, my question for you is, you know, not necessarily am I asking you to give me an out for medication as a parent because medication has been hugely helpful and impactful. But is that the kind of thing that you find in your experience that these coaching skills are able to address appropriately for kids?
Caroline: Yeah, because I totally relate to your daughter’s experience having, you know, been 25, 26 when they finally discovered all these and started taking medication. And, you know, as a coach, I don’t come down on medication or not. But what I do know is that the skill isn’t in the pill. And so, even if a kid is helped tremendously, the coaching is gonna give them a strategy because that medication is gonna wear off eventually, too. I mean, as adults, we all know that one of the stressors or struggles we have is, you know, my day is 15 hours. It’s not eight. So, I’m having to cope and manage and, you know, also just…you know, there are different stressors and environmental factors that we know bring out these symptoms. So, yeah, I think what the coaching does is makes people more aware. You know, it holds up a mirror and not in a bad way, in a good way.
One of the questions I get a lot is, you know, “Do you need medication to do this book?” No. I mean, I have clients run the gamut. That’s a totally personal choice. But what I would say is that either way, what you need is to become more aware. And you know, the other thing your daughter’s story is reflecting is she’s more aware. And that’s really the beautiful thing because you know that…you know, when I’m tired, all these stuff comes out. You can be on guard for it versus, you know, before you have sort of that realization, I don’t know, I just know my mother used to say, “Think before you speak, Caroline.” And I was always like, “What the heck does she need?” Like, “What? No.”
Pete: That’s, again, I can’t…
Nikki: I don’t know what that is. Yeah.
Pete: …enter the room with confidence, right? I can’t do…I don’t know that language.
Nikki: You know, it’s interesting because I work with a lot of college students. And I can see where this book would be incredibly helpful or the high school student who is going into college as well, especially with the parents, right? Because once you jump from high school to college, it’s a very difficult transition. Most universities are not ADHD-friendly. And if they don’t have these skills already, it’s really difficult, right? It’s really, really hard. So, what I love about what you’re saying is that, you know, with Pete’s daughter who is in high school, upperclassman, she’s gonna be looking at, you know, what’s gonna happen after high school. If we have the right coaching in asking her these questions and asking her to be aware of these things, it just gives her that much more percentage to succeed when she’s in the next chapter of her life, whatever that may be. That’s huge. I mean, you can’t…it’s so valuable to set them up that way.
Caroline: Yeah, and…
Pete: Well, and she’s a little bit in the catbird seat, too because of what I do for a living. We have these kinds of conversations all the time.
Caroline: My daughter got mad at me at a dinner party once because a little boy came up and he was having a struggle, and I asked him an open question. And she immediately, like, flew to the counter and she’s like, “Don’t you coach him. Don’t you coach him.” And oh, yes. He was like, “It’s a good question. I’d like to answer it,” right? He’s a little kid. He’s like [inaudible 00:32:37]. And my daughter’s, like, you know, glaring at me. So, yeah, they are on the catbird seat. I think, Nikki, I see a lot that transition as a big struggle, too because a lot of the kids I work with, they have their couple friends from high school, from preschool, to people who they have known forever that accept them how they are, or maybe even act as a body double to say, “Hey, you’re boarding too much.” And then, they go to college and if they don’t have those social skills, we’re asking them to make new friends, which is a much harder thing for a lot of people.
And so one reason I let\them expand the age wasn’t, you know, because I wanted to sell more books. It was because as I go around the world, I know parents or college students and young adults are gonna buy this book. I had editors willing to publish this book because they had a 30-year-old and they wanted to get a copy. And they thought, “Oh, my God. She needs to get a copy of that [inaudible 00:33:37].” I’m not lying. I think that there’s, like, that element and I think also a lot of times if you’re socially very [inaudible 00:33:48] parents a lot and you have that college student you’re working with, Nikki, they are baffling to you, right? I call them baffling behaviors. You say you want friends, but you don’t go to anything. You say you wanna fit in, but you don’t do anything to fit in. I had someone today say to me that her son wears the same clothes, like, he wears different clean clothes that’s like the same shirt and pants, and he doesn’t seem to understand it. Like, kids are making fun of you because they don’t know it’s different and clean, and you can’t run like [inaudible 00:34:18] that says, “This is clean,” you know. It’s all that stuff that the parent cannot understand. And then also, they’re not having a great conversation because they’re so frustrated.
Nikki: Well, and something else that just dawned on me is that, again, going to what I know, which is the college student, you’ve got somebody who’s new to this brand new environment and they may not be highly engaged in the academics that they’re doing because it’s all of the core stuff, right? So, it’s all kind of the boring stuff. They haven’t gotten to their major yet. But then, if they’re having problems making friends, then really the engaging part of college that is so fun, the social piece, is also missing. And again, that’s just kind of adding fuel to the fire of do you continue or not, you know. So, yeah, I really appreciate you bringing this out.
Caroline: And also, part of social skills is self-advocacy, is going into professor. You know, one of the stories I always tell when I speak is that I had a college girl I was working with who is just so motivated, but doesn’t have great social skills. She has a great brain, but she doesn’t have great social skills. And she got sick and she missed an exam. And she wrote the professor an email. He said, “No problem,” like, sick as in like in the ER. But then, because she doesn’t take perspective and walk in other people’s shoes and she was anxious, she did not make contact with that professor for 14 days after getting, you know, well. So now, she goes to the professor and the professor’s like, “You can’t take this exam anymore. You didn’t make contact with me.” And she was, like, baffled and realized her mistake and whatever. That’s all social, right, the ability to show up at that person’s office, say, “Thank you so much,” or write them an email, or to even step into their shoes and say, “This professor is known as a meany. He’s given me this rare opportunity to not take this with 103 fever. I better be writing him the next day to schedule this even if it’s a…” even if he said to her, “If you would even just schedule with me.” And I think that’s the other piece we face with our kids. You know, there’s some [inaudible 00:36:41]. You know, an overwhelming amount of kids who even had support in high school don’t take it in college. Well, part of that is they won’t go into the learning center.
Nikki: Yeah. And there’s fear. There’s fear of embarrassment. And I had one gentleman tell me that he felt guilty because he felt, like, it gave him an advantage. And so, you know, as a coach, where I went with that, I’m like, “No, no no. You don’t feel guilty.” And that all kinds of, you know, metaphors and analogies, and everything for him to understand. But yes, it’s true. I mean, it’s definitely difficult time. I want to ask you something though, Caroline, on a personal level.
Nikki: Because many of our listeners and many of our Patreon members are writers, and they’re writers with ADHD. So, I would love for you to take a few moments to talk to them, give them maybe any tips or suggestions or ideas that you can offer about your process. I know you’ve mentioned 15 years. I mean, has this been 15 years in the making? How did it…what am I trying to say, Pete? Not…
Nikki: Unfold. Thank you. I kept wanting to say, like, undeveloped or something, but yeah.
Caroline: That’s a great question. I talk about this with kids a lot because I want them to understand, like, you have to build the road, right? It takes time. So, I have the idea 15 years ago. I went for my master’s degree and finished in 2012 because I knew I had to have some kind of authority behind this. My master’s was self-designed in executive functions about social skills. I literally went to, like, every prominent university in Boston. I was like, “This is what I wanna do.” And some said no. Don’t you wish you’d said yes now? And Lesley University said yes. That’s part of that 15-year journey. And I had two children, you know, that was part of it, neither [inaudible 00:38:44] or neurotypical, by the way. That was part of it. But I would say this. I fully disclose that I have a collaborator. I have a go-straighter. And I write everything and then she busted and she brings it to the next level. So, I never wanna pretend that. I know I was in an ADD conference and someone snarky said, “You know, you shouldn’t tell anyone that.” And I was like, “Why? People need to know that’s an accommodation.” I’m dyslexic. No one wants me to spell. I’m a terrible at that kind of stuff. And either way, having them through this process, most people who have prescriptive walks or books like this have someone behind them. You know, I interview these people and I was like, “Oh, I will know so and so, and some writing their books.”
So, most parenting books that are out there, someone else is helping because it’s a whole higher level of writing that you need. But I would also say a few tricks that you have to write everything first because I’m the expert. I run on a treadmill. I listen to Rocky, the one with the Russian. So that’s four, I think. And then, I get myself really pumped up and then I go and I write. I, like, have all these little rituals that I do in order to kind of raise my dopamine levels because I get bored. Like, some of this is just so boring. And also I have a couple of really close friends who really…I mentioned at the end of the book, like, I wrote, like, two paragraphs about them because I have a friend who I literally call her up. She’s an expert. I ask her questions to get me my juices flowing. And then, I hang up on her. I don’t even have a conversation, like, “How are you doing and how are the kids?” I’m like, “Okay, bye.”
Nikki: That’s awesome.
Caroline: Horrible, I know. I was telling my editor this and she was, like, crying, laughing. But, you know, it’s really…because me, like, when I talk about stuff, it really helps me get juiced up. The other thing that I do is, honestly, because I knew the day would come when I would be promoting, I’ve done a ton of podcasts and other things on this topic. And every time I have one, like, I don’t have anything to write now, but if I did, I’m pretty jazzed up. And then, the final thing is I am a schedule person. So, like, I stick to a pretty strict schedule. But by that, I also mean I build in buffers. So, for lack of focus, lack of motivation, perfectionism, complete exhaustion where, like, the ideas just don’t come. And I also have a coach because good coaches get coached, and many things this poor woman has had to talk me through where I’m like, “Okay, here’s the problem.” And that’s how it unfolds. And it’s like interest, right? I’m interested in this.
Nikki: Well, congratulations.
Pete: Yeah, definitely.
Nikki: Fifteen years of hard work, research, something you’re passionate about, and now it’s gonna come into a book and reach and touch so many people who need this. And it’s certainly a niche that is not covered. Those social skills are so important and people, you know, need that information. And thank you so much for sharing this with us and giving us a preview.
Caroline: Thank you.
Pete: And now, here’s the downside though, right? You can’t get it yet. So, let’s talk just briefly about how you’d like people to get it, to stay informed. What can we do to help folks get connected with it?
Caroline: Sure. So, there’s a few things. You can go to carolinemaguireauthor.com, so M-A-G-U-I-R-E, and there’s actually a book promotion. If you click on Book, anybody can redeem an offer to get the…to pre-order the book. And by pre-ordering the book, you get a free webinar. And we’ll be giving a lot of stuff like that. And then, the other thing is that if you go on the website, there’s tons of information. And soon, there’s gonna be actually, like, you know, you put in that you brought the book and you’re gonna be able to have, like, live chats where you ask questions of me, and we’re gonna start that way before the book is out. The book comes out September 24th. But, you know, this way, parents can start, you know, hearing what’s gonna happen and even just using some of these questions as we go through the summer and, you know, kids are not outside playing because they don’t have anyone to play with. So, that’s a big thing. And I would also say that, you know, if you go to my Facebook page, Coach Caroline Maguire, there’s just updates and different information and stuff like that. And I’m on the Amazon, so…
Pete: Yeah. I’ve put in my Kindle pre-order already, so…
Caroline: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Caroline: And so that’s the best way. And the pre-orders really matter. I appreciate them because this…what happens is then, like, “The Wall Street Journal” then says, “Oh, we better review this book because it’s getting ton of attention.” And that’s already started to happen. And so, thank you to everyone who’s made that happen because it’s a big world. So, we have to show up so that they notice.
Nikki: Absolutely. Oh, I’m so excited.
Pete: Yeah, this is great.
Nikki: I can’t wait to read it.
Pete: I know. This is great. Caroline, thank you so much for hanging out with us, for coming back to the show, and can’t wait to hear how it goes. We will update the post. Check the links in the show notes. So, swipe up in your podcast player or go to the website, takecontroladhd.com, and go into the podcast section, you’ll find this post. If you’re listening to it after September 24th, just go get the book. You can do that right now. Look at…I’m talking to you in the future. If not, check the links and pre-order. Thank you, everybody. Oh, we do have a question, though, “One of the things that I noticed on Amazon is that you have a CD version of the book, and I was puzzled by that because I don’t have a CD player.” And we actually have a question from a listener, “Will you do an audible book? We have no way to listen to CDs.” So, what’s up with that?
Caroline: So, I’m actually already scheduled to do the audiobook. It will be an audible book. And then also, I think they’re offering it as a CD. I have no idea why. I don’t have [inaudible 00:45:28].
Pete: Okay, good.
Nikki: That’s what they do.
Pete: I’m relieved to hear that you are as puzzled by that as I was and our listeners.
Caroline: And I was [inaudible 00:45:33] even mentioned that to me. They always talked about it as audible and that kind of thing. But there is an audio version and I know I read many ADHD books by listening to them on audio. I kind of read it’s a five-day process in the studio, so dreading…
Pete: Drink lots of water, yup.
Nikki: I was gonna say you might want to get some walks outside. And sure you can’t take the treadmill into the studio, but you’ll definitely need to build up that dopamine somehow.
Caroline: I know. It’ll be an adventure, Nikki.
Nikki: That’s right. Well, good luck to you and good luck on the launch and everything.
Caroline: Thank you.
Nikki: Yeah, very exciting.
Caroline: I really appreciate you having me on. You have a great audience. And I love doing this. I really should have something to write right now because I’m all pumped up.
Pete: There you go. Hit the keyboard. Thank you, everybody, for downloading and listening to the show. We sure appreciate your time and your attention. On behalf of Caroline Maguire and Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright, and we’ll catch you next time right here on “Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.”