Quick and easy, what family doesn’t want to make life less stressful and simpler? Having a heads up on what easy to use tips and tools can give you a head start as a family. See which of these ideas can make life better for you and your family.
- Want to know where everyone is going and what activities are coming up? Use a google calendar for everyone to add their dates and activities. It’s a quick view of what’s going on for everyone. Review your calendar at your family meeting. Front load your calendar with school dates and upcoming family vacations.
- Place analog clocks in all transition areas. An analog clock clicks in time passing and time awareness. Those transition areas include bathrooms where time can pass without acknowledgement. Talk to your kids as you place these. Remind them these are placed to help you be on time and know what time it is.
- Set up rewards for everyone for being on time. Find a “cheap thrill” such as $5 Friday Smoothies as a reward for being on time and replacing a meal. The small incentives prompt positive behavior and makes family time together more fun.
Taking care of space and taking care of stuff is harder for families with ADHD. Be sure everything has a home so that there is always a way to maintain your organizing.
- Structure a decluttering session monthly. You can have a Purge and Pizza party to get everyone involved. During your pizza party, have a family discussion on decluttering, what was easy and what was hard.
- Create natural consequences for things left behind. Strategize with your child as a coach on how to “remember” such as setting up visual reminders or alarms.
- Build in time to reset your stuff weekly. A family reset time includes getting items back to homes, getting ready for the week, and restocking items.
Emotional regulation skills help everyone keep it together, even when the going gets rough.
- Everything is better with a good night’s sleep. Promote good sleep with a common charging space, a sound machine, time to unwind, a lavender bath and an early start. Encourage one night a week of an early bedtime.
- Catch your family doing “good stuff.” Give praise and encouragement whenever you see it. A “ticket” or positive note give your kiddo a physical reminder and recognition.
- The green space is where we all feel better. Exercise can include walking the dog, joining a team, a solo sport like tennis, horse back riding, or going to the pool.
- When life gets chaotic, think about adding structure. Some families call this guardrails,, boundaries or just plain rules. If your kiddo is not ready to be out to dinner at 8 pm since it’s past bedtime, if eating sugar adds to poor choices or if too many clothes are cluttering your kiddo’s floor, it’s time to introduce structure.
Life in your family with ADHD can be bumpy. Be sure to seek support and add to your knowledge base every chance you can.