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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a popular parenting buzzword today, often over-used to describe kids who have trouble concentrating and sitting still. While ADD may be over-hyped, it is a real syndrome that can be medically diagnosed and treated (if you suspect your child has ADD, please consult a doctor). For those of you who have children who have been diagnosed with ADD, other parents who've been there have the following tips to share on helping your child deal with daily life. Even if your child doesn't have ADD, these tips may help give your home life some supportive structure.
Establishing a Homework Routine
"In order for my son to get his homework done, I make him come home every day and do his homework immediately. He is not allowed to go out and play until his homework is done. I know everything I've read says that's not the way to do it. But I do it for two reasons. First he does the same thing every day -- when he comes home he sits down and does the work. There is never a question of whether or not he can go outside so he doesn't ask. Second, the subject still fresh in his mind from school. At first I had to stand over him while he did it to keep him on task. I know that part is hard. But it only took him a year to get it under control himself. He comes right home and does it without even asking to go out."
Providing a Daily Schedule
"I have three checklists for my son: 'Shane's Good Morning,' 'Golden Rules For After School' and 'Shane's Bedtime Routine.' They act as reminders for what he is expected to do each and every day. They save me from repeating things 100 times. Now I only have to repeat myself 50 times!"
Enabling Good Behavior
"My son just went through a bad spell as well for a couple of weeks. Just miserable to be around, in trouble in the after school program, at home, etc. For some reason, who knows why (the alignment of the planets, a change in the water system, my mother-in-law's novenas), he's been great this week. I try to praise him to death when his behavior's good so that I hope he'll get this picture. I tell him until I'm blue in the face that he can do anything, including being good. I give anyone who's contact with him, coaches, etc., hints and tips on how to get the most out of him and to understand where he's coming from."