Do you remember the time you and your sweetheart tried to put the kids' jungle gym together and one of you ended up spending a sleepless night on the couch? How about the day you worked together on the mountains of clutter in your garage? Those mountains threatened to fall on you at any moment and yet you couldn't agree on where to start or what "just had to go." If you have memories like these, you are like many couples who get into trouble when they try to work together on projects. Here is a way to help you get in synch... and play like a professional team!



Couples Project / Teamwork Game:


1 Baseball Cap
1 Baseball Jersey
1 Willing Couple (only one or both may have ADD/ADHD)
1 Project
Miscellaneous timers, signs, boxes and a good sense of humor

Game Plan:

1. One partner "wears the cap" as the captain (who is also a team player).

2. The other partner is willing to wear a jersey and be a team player.

3. Break the game (project) into manageable "innings."

4. Plan and set aside at least double the time you think it will take to play the game.

5. Focus on one "inning" at a time.

6. Use goals, timers and other tools to help you stay on task.

7. When playing – recognize that you are also practicing and you will not be perfect your first time "at bat." You're rookies now but you will function as a seasoned team with time.

8. Pre-plan a team reward when you WIN!batterup

You are getting the idea. When planning to work on a project together, discuss what will be involved and choose the person best equipped to "wear the cap" as the captain. I recommend the captain wear a baseball cap as a visual reminder of who will be making the final decisions. The other partner wears the jersey to remind the captain that they are a "team." Also consider changing roles (swap the hat & jersey) during some "innings."

With these visual cues, each person is better able to recognize the role he or she will be playing during this project. This is how each role works:

Captain (wearing the cap): Practice being very open to suggestions and ideas, and consider them carefully before making a final decision. By doing so, you will be better able to recognize that there is more than one way to do things and that your partner is an intelligent and important part of the team. Respect and love for your teammate will grow.

Team player (wearing the jersey): Practice accepting that it is "OK" to let the captain make the final decision. You've had the opportunity to offer suggestions and ideas and you've truly been heard. As with the captain, you develop respect, love and also trust in your partner's ability to listen and take your ideas into consideration.

As you practice these roles on various projects, you will each have moments when you "oops." Focus on your own mistakes, rather than your partner's, and apologize as needed without making excuses. Just apologize and move on. As you each go through "try-outs" with these behaviors, accept your mistakes as practice for the "Major Leagues" when you will grow into a team with mutual respect, love and trust.

These techniques can also be applied to family projects. Children can learn to be excellent "captains" who lead the team to victory.
Parents need only choose projects appropriate for the child's age and abilities. This approach helps children learn responsibility and interpersonal skills that are so important for their development.

So, when undertaking your next project with your partner, remember to decide who will "wear the cap." You really can work and play
well together. Batter up!



ADDA Focus Newsletter Article:

Authored by Twila Gates, RN, Senior Certified AD/HD Coach
An article for couples where one or both have ADHD

ADHD Coaching: What Our Clients Are Saying

"Before I worked with Twila I was feeling like life was pretty chaotic. I didn't seem to have a grip on things and I felt like my communication skills were poor. "I wasn't doing a good job of letting co-workers and my partner know what I needed from them. I seemed to be working under a general state of overwhelm. I have worked with Twila for a couple years. For me this has been time and money WELL SPENT. I am much more organized, thoughts and life. Before I couldn't see past the chaos but now I seem to be able to step back from things and see the real issues. I have been able to identify key areas needing attention in my life. I have made a lot of healthy improvements. This was something I didn't seem to be able to do on my own. I have improved my communication skills, personal and professional, and relationships are better. My partner said he has seen a great change in me all for the better. He has seen me grow and better myself and this has encouraged him to do some of his own work. Twila seems genuinely interested in my success as a person."
Kelly J., Washington

"I have always felt like I take two steps forward and four back. Having a coach helps me to keep the steps I take and more. The last two years has been life changing financially, physically and mentally. I look forward to my calls. I can never thank Twila enough for her support and encouragement."
Lori S., Arizona
"I discovered Twila two years ago during the most difficult time of my life. She has been instrumental in assisting me in creating systems and order in my life during a time when I felt completely lost after my husband left and sought full custody of our son. I am not sure how I would have navigated that past few years without Twila there by my side. She is an incredibly talented and intuitive coach, and I highly recommend her. Twila is very gifted in being able to quickly understand "where you are" and where you need support and/or structure. She will take a tailored approach to assisting you where you need help - whether it is regarding the structure of your day/planning and follow through, or how to make certain aspects of your life run smoothly, or understanding your personality type and how to work with it rather than against it. She is able to help you learn how to gain and maintain focus - which is a true blessing if you have ADHD. She is able to help you with how to create and maintain an orderly environment. She is able to help you in defining your values and living life with purpose. She is able to help you with how to effectively organize, plan and manage projects. She will gently help you see where you need help...which can often be in areas you never even knew you needed help! I honestly feel like I cannot do Twila justice with my inadequate attempt to describe what she has done for me. Twila has been instrumental in my life changing for the better in so many ways."
Wendy K.
"When I started working with my coach, Twila, I was looking for a coach because I was extremely frustrated by several things: my boss, lack of planning, disorganization, impatience... etc. Most of the goals I had initially (e.g. being calm, less angry, submitting expense reports, paying bills, starting to plan my day/week...) I accomplished in the first 6-9 months of coaching. Twila was excellent at helping me develop systems that worked for me.I appreciated that she was relatively available when I was having a hard issue with my boss. I developed an excellent relationship and friendship with my boss (who at the start I was saying I would never work for).Coaching has helped with the following:1. Keeps me focused on achieving my goal2. Provides supportive accountability (I had great experience at sliding by... without anyone noticing)3. Over time, Twila could help spot repeated cycles/behaviors I was not as aware of4. Ongoing encouragement... which I needed5. Helped me develop ways of "naturally" doing many of the mundane tasks I had avoided.6. My base salary has increased by 30%7. My work hours have decreased by 30%8. Return on investment (ROI) is approximately 525%9. My performance appraisal no longer says: "I should be more patient... or that I should not be frustrated by others." :-)I also enjoyed/enjoy the "coaching" time and found that just having the call would start calming/relaxing me.Twila has worked with me to allow me to keep and exploit the traits I like about ADHD (i.e. energy- some may call hyperactivity, ability to pay attention to several things at once, and handle urgent tasks) while changing the traits that frustrate me (and often others)." Kathrin
Kathrin K
“Coaching has been a true life changer & saver for me. Most likely the results are going to be different for everyone, as dictated by different situations. For me, this has not only helped my career and college goals become enjoyable and achievable, but it has almost essentially helped me to combine all of the important things in my life much more efficiently, so that I have been able to pretty much save the severe degradation of my marriage. ADD/ADHD has, without knowing that it even existed, been an absolute key product of absolute upheaval and chaos in my life. Since I’ve been getting help from Twila, I’m truly realizing what I’ve been missing most all of my life. Needless to say, I would highly encourage you to consider life coaching if it has been recommended, or you think it might possibly be helpful for you. So far so good for me.”
Glen H.
"What have I accomplished through coaching? A better question is what haven't I accomplished through coaching! To state it briefly, I have accomplished a Ph.D., salary raises of $60,000 over 6 years, 4 promotions, respected positions in Fortune 500 companies, and my own business. I have also accomplished a home-life balance, a positive focus on more structure in my parenting, and a greater sense of peace and direction in both my personal and professional lives. "Thank You" does not say it. "Bless you" comes closer."
Jeane F., PhD., Manager of Organizational Effectiveness
“I’m doing really well. My business continues to flourish. One of my goals when I came to you was to make $90,000... Well, this year I made $113,000. I find that amazing. And I owe so much of my success to you, Twila. I have enough work lined up for next year to make that much again, but work 240 hours less! Now that’s even more amazing!
Kelly C.
“My new house is coming along well. It should be ready by spring... When I move into the new home, my life has progressed in a way that will fit the new home, sort of like a snail growing and needing a new shell... Yes, I now have a full and well-rounded social life!”
Patricia T., Florida
Twila is a super coach -- attentive, caring, organized and skillful. I worked with Twila for several years and gained the much needed skills to handle numerous drises that I was experiencing after a divorce and in establishing myself in a career. Twila is nonjudgmental, very easy to talk to and insightful. One of the important life skills that I gained from our sessions was learning the difference between discernment and judgment and how to employ these insights in interpersonal relationships. If you are in transition and trying to figure out a new path, Twila will be a tremendous resource and personal advocate.
Sabrina - New York
If you have come to a point in your life where you deeply desire to make adjustments in your thinking, habits, processes and/or performance, but feel stuck, Twila can provide tools, training, coaching and accountability necessary to get going and to achieve long term change.
Karl B