6 Tips for Managing Back to School with ADHD Children

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Well, it’s that time of year again: Back to school. If you have children, particularly ADHD children, this can be a daunting time of year.

The shopping, the driving, the lunch making, the alarm clocks, the homework, and everything in between. With September comes old and new challenges to tackle, and as a parent with a child with ADHD, you may be feeling the pressure right now.

The good news is, there are many ways to seek support, and it is never too late to start on the right foot. You have time.

Here are 6 tips help get you started:

  1. Use a Family Schedule: On the fridge, on the back of your toilet, in the van, online…..just make sure there is a master schedule that links all your family members. Try having a family meeting once a week, where everyone adds in their commitments. You don’t have better plans for Sunday night, do you? People with ADHD sleep better and wake up more easily when they know their schedule for the next day.
  2. Schedule renewal time for everyone: I know how hard it can be to find time to relax when you’re holding onto the steering wheel for dear life. But it is everyone in the family’s right to find space for personal renewal. 20 minutes a day. Walk, listen to music, take a bath. Encourage your partner, children, and most importantly yourself to take this time daily. And make sure you do it everyday.
  3. Keep healthy snacks in the car: You’re back in the minivan and traffic seems to be worse this year…and you’re always late for somebody’s activity. Be prepared: toss a bag of almonds, or protein bars into the glove box, and make sure you have water bottles. You never know when you might have to detour. And being starving while in traffic…now that is just inhuman.
  4. Encourage or accompany your kids to walk or bike to school: If a child gets 20 minutes of physical activity before school in the morning, he/she is able to perform significantly better. Read the book ‘Spark’ by Dr. John Ratey. You will never see exercise the same way again.
  5. Meet with your child’s teacher: Get to know them. Share your support and open the communication lines. You won’t regret it when midterm report cards come out.
  6. Fight for family dinner hour: Turn off the screens, make something simple, include the kids in the shopping and the cooking, and plan activities around family dinner. This is key family bonding time, nutritional education and your time to actually hear about your child’s day. Don’t let this be the first routine to fall.

 

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