Are you a parent of a child or adolescent with ADHD and always looking for strategies to help your kid with organization, time management, prioritization, and study skills? One thing I often hear from parents is that their child may spend hours ‘working’ on homework and have nothing to show for it. How can that be? I went to my best source of information–adolescents. The responses were honest and raw. I heard that they start their homework but then the phone vibrates or they get an idea about a show or a game and look it up (because they can!). Before they know it, so much time has passed and little or no progress on their assignments has been made. This is usually the time when a parent checks in and the child tries to ‘look’ busy, but truly, no real work has been done. And this cycle continues on and on, for hours. Sound familiar?
As parents, we want to give our kids the tools to ‘be successful. Unfortunately, there’s isn’t a class that teaches this. When my son started middle school, he was overwhelmed with how many responsibilities his teachers had now expected of him. He wasn’t prepared to handle the demands of each class with a different teacher, a locker, so many notebooks to carry, and the weekly array of quizzes, tests, journals and so on.
It’s okay to coach and mentor our children with ADHD with a more hands-on approach. Some of us continue to coach our young adult children while in college, and that’s okay, too. Keep in mind that each of our children’s journeys is unique. The goal is to make progress without the pressure to achieve X goal by X age. That will only frustrate you both.
Here are a few strategies that you can initiate at home that will help with building those executive functioning skills while getting their homework D-O-N-E!
Adapt the Body Double Method
Some of us get the most done when nobody is around. For some kids and adolescents with ADHD, it helps to have another person in the same room or nearby. Perhaps knowing that the person is present and can check in at any time helps a child maintain focus and improve productivity. Some of us need the presence of another person to regulate and ground us. That person doesn’t have to say or do anything, they just need to exist. This is known as our body double…
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