One of the main difficulties of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with or without hyperactivity ) is organization and planning. Their tendency to quickly zap from one activity to another makes it difficult to schedule and perform daily tasks in sequence.
Repeating the same things over and over again makes you crazy very quickly. The list of grievances quickly becomes very long and weighs on relationships within the home. Getting upset is useless, it is better to set up a durable crutch with a good toolbox …
So how to improve family life and help your ADD toddler ? I introduce you 10 practical solutions to get organized with an attention disorder (ADD/H) coming from my personal experience and drawn from the literature that you can pick up according to your particular case.
#1 Create routines
A time for everything and everything in its time!
A routine is often long to implement but it is later easier to manage personal and family activities when they are well anchored. We saves a lot of energy when everyone knows what to do.
I noticed my kids loved it. They have the power to structure everyday life of the ADHD child. They help him to act efficiently, safely and independently.
He is a lot easier to forget nothing when you have got into the habit of always doing the same activities in the same order.
However, I noticed that setting them up could really take very long time but above all, nothing should be let go. This is the key to success!
- Firstly, list things what we want to do or what we have to do.
- Put it in sequence like for example:
- I'm getting up,
- Wash my,
- dress me
- And have my breakfast
- To facilitate installation, display them in pictograms, illustrations or other…
First, your child will probably want to do this new activity. Finally, your role will then be to maintain it...
Sample Routine which can be set up according to your child's needs :
- The morning routine to prepare for school
- The homework routine after class
- The evening routine to go to bed
- Preparing his bag the day before or preparing his clothes in the evening for the next day arranged on a chair in his room...
#2 Adopt rules of life
Young people with ADHD need to know what they can or cannot do to structure your behavior but also to gain confidence in their daily actions within the family.
Yes, school is not necessarily the place of success par excellence. And so he will need a clear and caring environment at home.
So to promote the functioning of your family, it is important to set up so-called “non-negotiable” rules. Become a Super-nanny:
- Restrict the number of rules
- Discuss them with your child
- write the rules
- Display itthem in plain sight
- Explain them to the whole family
- Hold fast and follow them!
♥ HOUSE RULES ♥
♦ If you open, close!
♦ If you turn on, turn off!
♦ If you break, fix!
♦ If you can't fix it, say so!
♦ If you borrow, give back!
♦ If you mess up, clean up!
♦ If you move, put it back!
♦ If you don't know, ask!
If it doesn't concern you,
don't poke your nose into it!
#3 Learn to evaluate time
ADHD children have poor perception of passing time which aggravates their disorganization. So they struggle to estimate the time needed to do what is asked of them, or to plan the different tasks necessary for their actions.
- Get used to it guess the times of certain times;
- Avoid overly vague time markers and instructions; Replace “You can play at 3 p.m.” with “You can play after you have done your homework”;
- the timer type TIME TIMER is essential! Very visual, the child sees the time passing. The remaining time corresponds to the red part. He is able to manage it alone like a grown-up! Less frustration for family peace… This countdown can even be used for cooking!
- The needle watches are more complex to understand and apprehend. I noticed that a digital display could be of great help to them!
#4 Carry out family planning
The family calendar on the fridge is a essential to organize your daily life. Everyone has access to it, can thus see it and complete it.
A good plan should be written, tracked and adaptable :
- For ease of reading, assign a color for each member of the family or each type of activity.
- Decorate it with drawing.
- It must not be too visually charged !
I also refer you to the complementary article on Schedule of revisions: How to do it
#5 Avoid procrastinating!
When we give several things to do at the same time:
- The ADHD child easily forgets, only remembers the first or last statement.
- your child gets distracted as soon as he starts performing the first task and loses sight of the other things.
- A calm, clear and concise request at the same time,
- To do immediately, as soon as work is given, forbidden to procrastinate;
- Announce the program in advance to avoid frustration.
#6 Organize your ideas
Your child has lots of ideas, but can't write them down. He gets lost in the details and fails to see the big picture. So what to do?
- Always have a notepad to list, classify, order what is urgent and/or important
- make plans
- Learn to organize ideas mind map according to the heuristic method, in table...
- Use markers to identify important ideas
- Add color to differentiate and highlight
- Use a TODOIST type application, my daughter loves it!
#7 Organize your space so as not to lose anything
Each thing in its place! If this makes sense to you, it is not the same for your child.
Provide a space for everything to keep it an orderly, soothing and reassuring environment.
Determine and show your child the storage logic.
- Bins, boxes, bags classified by type of game
- Label with name, photo, logo, pictogram to be recognizable by all
- Purify, sort, sell, give, barter ! Everything that is not useful, is useless and pollutes his space of distraction!
Also think about key finder, very useful not to change the locks every morning …
#8 Organize your workspace
A child with AD/HD will have a harder time getting to work for a long time without idleness.
So help him to have a conducive space to do his homework:
- The office should be located in a distraction-free place to help with concentration. Preferably away from living rooms.
- Everything must be able to be easily store behind closed doors.
- Store the phone under lock and key during homework time: mobile phone beeping continuously disturbs concentration.
- Use a balloon seat allows you to move while remaining seated! Ideal for hyperactive children.
- Likewise a sit-stand desk allows the child to vary his working position and thus remain active while working.
- Develop different spaces for each activity to encourage movement: a reading corner, an office corner, another to do your sport, a music area...
#9 Getting help from a professional: Getting organized to learn
Small lexicon of professionals non-exhaustive which are of great help:
- child psychiatrist : psychiatrist specializing in the care of children and adolescents up to the age of 18.
- Speech Therapist : healthcare professional who prevents, assesses and treats oral and written communication deficiencies and disorders, as well as disorders associated with them.
- Psychomotrician: medical assistant whose role is to rehabilitate patients with psychomotor disorders.
- Resource teacher: Specialist in all methods aimed at avoiding school failure.
The associations are very good advice, first to diagnose and then to support. From my experience, I went through Alois Children's Center and recommend it to you.
Daily, the biggest conflict is often that of duties. Ambition for her child comes up against the possible. So, when you can, why not get help before the situation turns into trench warfare... Tutoring by a teacher can make it possible to defuse the conflict and to preserve oneself for other subjects!
#10 Essential books to read on ADHD
The literature is abundant on the subject. For my part, these books have particularly enlightened me:
So to sum up, how to get organized with a child with ADD (Attention Disorder) in 10 points :
- 1 Create Routines
- 2 Adopt rules of life
- 3 Learn to measure time
- 4 Make a plan
- 5 Avoid procrastinating
- 6 Organize your ideas
- 7 Organize your space so you don't lose anything
- 8 Organize your workspace
- 9 Get help from the pros
- 10 Learn by reading