Is your son’s desk a disaster?
Has your daughter’s teacher mentioned she has trouble focusing in class?
You may have seen subtle signs in your child suggesting ADHD. Sometimes I think our culture of multi-tasking and the constant barrage of text messages is a factor in our inability to concentrate. But while you are checking out the right professional to help you explore the origins and scope of the behavior in question, there are skills you can reinforce at home which can improve behavior and concentration. While medication ultimately may be required, pills are only effective when taken. Skills on the other hand, last a lifetime.
Here are some of my favorite organizational skills:
- Create a designated quiet and organized environment for schoolwork. Have supplies available and keep distractions to a minimum.
- Introduce the process of time management. Discuss together when projects are due and create a timeline to keep your child on track.
- Use a timer and have your child work in blocks of time, with built-in breaks designated at the end of each block. The amount of block time will vary with each child as will the type of activity you can encourage each child to do during their break. Some kids need a physical activity while others may need to respond to texts or emails.
- Demonstrate helpful organization skills like writing assignments in a designated agenda or pad and crossing off (or highlighting) assignments that are completed. The satisfaction of seeing a page of highlighted tasks can be a reward in itself.
- Reward organizational efforts! Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Even simple praise can be effective.
What great organizational skills have you found helpful? Let’s share and learn from each other!