Your child has now commenced school and they will be involved in a number of curriculum areas exposing them to lots of new learning experiences. Many of these learning activities will become leisure choices for your child at home. They will be excited about their days at school and wanting to share every new learning with you.
It is now time to revise your child’s routine at home. Look at the things that they still need to do as their responsibility as part of the family unit, then homework and school assignments, after school activities and free time activities that may become their preferred leisure activities. So you may well ask ‘how do I manage all this and my child’s ADHD?’ Here are some possible things to consider to help you to get your thoughts organised:
- What are the after school activities that my child wants to attend eg athletics
- What has the teacher given for homework and when does it have to be done by- create a calendar or diary to help your child manage this
- Are there any school assignments that need to be done and by when- add to the calendar
- What is my child’s new leisure interest that they want to explore- discuss with your child and offer suggestions if they don’t know
- What home jobs does my child have to do- everyone needs to contribute to helping around the house and being responsible for their own belongings
Okay so now you have a starting point and this needs to be prioritised and put into a routine and a daily/weekly schedule for your child to see what is required of him/her and so that you can both monitor what needs to be done.
So how do you put a plan into action to help your child and you while managing the symptoms of the ADHD may have upon him/her:
Which afternoon is it on and do they require my direct supervision or is this something that I can share a pick up and supervision with another family, what do I tell the other parent about my child?
Homework and assignments
Ask your child what homework they have if they are reliable or communicate with the teacher regarding what the homework and assignment requirements are. Ask yourself ‘do I need to supervise this or can my child do this independently?’ Initially you may need to assist your child to understand the requirements but the aim is independence. The more effectively that homework and assignments can be managed, the more time your child will have for other activities.
New leisure interest
Can this be managed after school as a free time activity or is this something that can be done on a weekend and does it require supervision?
As part of the family contribution what can my child do daily and weekly to help eg. Setting the table for the evening meal, teach and allocate this task to your child.
Managing leisure interests in the context of the family dynamic can be tricky. The more organised you are by putting routines and structures in place the more likely you will be in having a successful outcome. The earlier that you can pass this organisation responsibility to your child the faster it will help them to develop a sense of responsibility and independence.