ADHD Tip: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

By Jeff Copper, MBA, PCC, PCAC, CPCC, ACG – June 10, 2024

Are you a parent looking for effective strategies to improve communication with your ADHD child? In an interview with Elaine Taylor-Klaus (, we discussed simple and fun approaches to keep the lines of communication open without resorting to constant instructions. These methods focus on creating a positive and engaging environment for your children, allowing them to express themselves freely while fostering a stronger bond.

Children can be easily distracted, making it challenging to maintain consistent communication, but parents can utilize their tendency to be visual learners by allowing them to draw on the bathroom mirror where it is most likely to be seen by family. Typically, drawing on the bathroom mirror would not be acceptable, but there are several types of markers that can be used safely on mirrors.

Children often thrive in hands-on fun activities that encourage communication without being overtly directive. These interactions provide a relaxed environment for communication to flow naturally. They can leave messages on the mirror for you or their siblings or even jot down their thoughts and feelings for themselves. The mirror acts as a canvas for their emotions and ideas. And, you must admit, it’s certainly a unique way to communicate.

As parents, we often jump in with advice or instructions when our children share their experiences. Instead, we need to practice active listening and draw on the mirror, too. That would show your child that you care about what they have to say, fosters trust, and makes them more willing to express themselves.

Not all communication needs to be verbal, so drawing on the mirror helps your children express themselves when they can’t say the words out loud. If we recognize and appreciate their non-verbal cues and expressions, it can reveal a lot about what they are experiencing.

Maintaining open communication with your children doesn’t have to be a challenge. Incorporating these unique strategies into your daily interactions can create a positive and supportive atmosphere that encourages your children to express themselves freely.

But this strategy is not only for your children. It can also be a safe way for adolescents in the family and adult partners to understand each other better and enjoy a more harmonious family dynamic. To watch the interview with Elaine, visit


Jeff Copper:  Welcome everybody to this edition of Attention Talk Video. I’m your host, Attention Coach, Jeff Copper, and I’m here with Elaine Taylor-Klaus of ImpactADHD. Elaine, welcome to the show.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Hi. Thanks. Good to be here.

Jeff Copper:  Title of this show is Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, and Elaine’s got all kinds of great ADHD tips, tricks, tools, whatever. This one’s particularly fascinating, and I’ll explain why in a second, but can you explain mirror, mirror on the wall?

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Yeah, so this is a strategy, and most of the tips I offer are for parents to use with their kids, and we want to be constantly fostering a couple of things with our kids. We want to keep an open and good communication with our kids and keep it light and playful. A lot of what we’re constantly doing with our kids is telling them what to do and directing them, so if we can find ways to communicate that in a fun and playful way, that could be really cool.

So, do you want me to say the strategy or just tell what it’s about?

Jeff Copper:  Yeah, go ahead. Yeah.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Okay, so the idea is to give your kids markers and you can use either permanent markers, or you know those markers you can buy where you can draw on windows? I know Crayola has versions and I think that permanent markers even come off with alcohol.

Jeff Copper:  With alcohol, that’s a good tip. Alcohol-

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Yeah.

Jeff Copper:  Fingernail polish.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Yep, stuff like that. So yeah, acetone really helps. Anyway, so you give the kids markers and keep them in their bathroom so they can actually draw on the mirrors in the bathroom. If they want to draw pictures, if they want to leave messages for each other, if you want to leave them a wake-up message, good morning, how are you this morning? Or sometimes if you want to give them instructions, it captures their attention, because it’s someplace you wouldn’t sort of expect something to be.

Jeff Copper:  If you’re there and your routine is a little bit of a captive audience, either beginning or the end of the day, and I can tell you that when she mentioned this mirror, mirror on the wall, I thought it was kind of interesting, because my wife, if there’s something that I need her to pay attention to, it goes in her sink-

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Yep.

Jeff Copper:  Her bathroom sink.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Yeah.

Jeff Copper:  Because the beautification process or the cleansing process, and then they can’t take place with that in the sink, so she has to do something with it. I think it’s kind of fascinating, because literally if I need my wife to do something, it goes there. Now it’s not on the wall, although I might have-

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Is it Post-it notes?

Jeff Copper:  I might have to do that or Post-it note, but the other thing too, I had this vision of getting shaving cream out and actually writing my note-

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  That’s a good idea, I love that.

Jeff Copper:  To get something done as a way, particularly … maybe not every day, because they might see through it, but that one thing that I need done-

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  That’s right.

Jeff Copper:  It’s a brilliant idea.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  That’s right. Well, and it keeps it playful and it keeps it fun-

Jeff Copper:  Yep, yep.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  And there’s a lot to be said for that. My daughter shares a room with a roommate and they have a bathroom sort of built in, and they have this very large mirror and they leave each other notes and poetry and quotes. They write all over the mirror all the time, but every morning if one leaves before the other, they leave the other just a note, just a good morning message, and it’s so sweet.

Jeff Copper:  I promise you this poetry is not precursor to what you might find in the bathroom in a restaurant, it’s really a lovely thing [inaudible 00:03:07] with daughters. But anyway, Elaine, that’s a really good tip. For our listeners, if you want to learn more about Elaine or ImpactADHD, go to So with that, Elaine, thank you for coming on the show.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus:  Pleasure. You’re welcome.

Jeff Copper:  Take care.


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