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!

child adhd toothbrush morning routine how to organize attention disorder
Daily routine: pee, hands, teeth...
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The homework routine is one of the most complicated in terms of the effort required...
ROUTINE TO LEARN 0 WRITE CHILD ADD HYPERACTIVE ATTENTION DISORDER HOW TO ORGANIZE
Example Write Routine

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

rules of life for children with attention disorder hyperactivity on the fridge kitchen reminder
Magnetic board displayed on the fridge!
the rules of the super nanny's house for a child with attention deficit disorder
The recipe for super nanny to pacify the family: the establishment of rules!
magnetic board fridge house who does what household chores schedule week daily child adhd activity task
The Who Does What

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! 
To show that everyone should participate in the functioning of the house, adopt THE WHO DOES WHAT It's written, shared, explained, clear and unchanged !

♥ 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!

Rule of Happiness:

Something to do,

someone to love,

Something to look forward to.

 

Immanuel Kant, Philosopher, 1724 – 1804

#3 Learn to evaluate time

The essential is constantly threatened by the insignificant.

 René Char, poet and French resistance fighter, 1907 – 1988 

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Time is much longer to understand than numbers
how to get organized with an ADD chronometer dog sticks its tongue out
It's hard, I don't know what is expected of me!
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Knock Knock it's time Monsignor!

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

To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. 

Anatole France, writer, 1844-1924

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" What do we do? "Monthly table of revisions
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Small weekly tables to visualize your week

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 

 

magnetic board fridge house who does what household chores schedule week daily child adhd activity task
The classic Kifekoi to share family chores

#5 Avoid procrastinating!

There is no point in running, you have to start on time. 

Jean De La Fontaine, French Poet, 1621-1695

procrastinate boyfriend bed have fun phone bed bedroom storage forget
Wesh, it's kiffance on the sofa with the BGs!
child in front of the TV with popcorn on the sofa
I love my TV!

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.

So: 

  • 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

To arrange your words well, you must first know how to arrange your ideas well.

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont ; The Children's Store (1758)

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Are you lost?
heuristic method for the classification of ideas child disorder attention how to organize
The heuristic method or map mind?
notepad my notes notebook memo to do list shopping list weekly calendar planning
Always have a to do list handy!

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! 
Eisenhower matrix how to organize attention disorder add delegate make postpone plan
Eisenhower Matrix to set priorities and clarify ideas

#7 Organize your space so as not to lose anything

pig in dirty pigsty like bedroom
Even the pig is happy in his pigsty...
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A label, a name, a color...

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

Some tips: 

  • 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

Pleasure in the profession puts perfection in the work.

Aristodes, 384-322 av. J.-C.

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Could this be the perfect bedroom for your child?
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Stay active with a ball seat!
sit-stand desk for children adhd adhd move how to organize the desk
Vary the working positions!

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

You tell me, I forget. You teach me, I remember. You involve me, I learn.

Benjamin Franklin, American scientist and politician, 1706 – 1790

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We are not ashamed to call a plumber to fix a simple sink...
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It can't be seen on an x-ray!

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: 

tda the toolbox book psychologist ariane hebert

ADHD Toolbox

Ariane Hebert 

100 ideas to better manage attention disorders

with or without hyperactivity (ADD/H) and to help teachers, parents and children

Francine Lussier

Helping your child to be calm and attentive

Delphine de Hemptinne

In summary

how to organize attention disorder tda: walk on the moon challenge difficulty
Some have walked on the moon, so the TDA...

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

 

Hugo de Winat

Do not hesitate to leave me your comments and experiences. Other items are available here