One of the most important lessons a parent needs to impart upon their children is the importance of housework. Yes, it can be difficult, even more so if you are raising a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD kids often have trouble following directions and are easily distracted. But that doesn’t mean you should give up; you need to adjust your parenting skills somewhat. Getting kids to do their chores is never easy. Here are a few tips to help your child with ADHD learn their chores and other household duties.
🔹 Break down each chore into components. Simply telling them to “clean your room” can overwhelm them with all the tasks that need to be done. Instead, provide them with a checklist detailing each task that you want them to do like so:
- Pick up your toys and put them back where they belong
- Put dirty clothes into the hamper
- Fix your bed
- Arrange your shelves
🔹 Set a deadline. Having a set deadline can help them focus on the task at hand. Make these deadlines reasonably long and make sure to remind them of their deadlines at regular intervals to keep them focused on the task. Using a timer might also be a good idea to help keep track of time.
🔹 Make a chore chart. Provide them with a reference of what they need to do. Your child will be more receptive to visual learning so creating a task board and updating it as your child finishes tasks is a good way to remind them visually of all the tasks they need to do as well as how much they’ve already done.
🔹 Provide positive incentives. These rewards can be simple, like providing a bit of spending money, or you could reward them with something more substantial like a day out with them or letting them visit their friends to play. Keep your promise of the reward as much as possible.
🔹 Be Ready to Assist Your Child When They Need It. Sometimes a child with ADHD will feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks that go into a chore like cleaning their room. At times like these, you should come in and help your child out by assisting them in their work. You can make a game out of the task to keep their attention focused on cleaning.
🔹 Know your child. Observe their behavior. Take note of what they find exciting, what frustrates them, and what sorts of strategies they are receptive to. A parent needs to remember that not every negative action their child does is out of defiance. Sometimes it’s because they are feeling overwhelmed, or frustrated.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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