All kids look forward to summer. To the child with ADHD, the end of the school year can be especially difficult. The impulsiveness that is characteristic of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the reasons. Nice weather and end of the school year activities result in more unstructured time. Everyone is having fun. The opportunities for impulsive reactions that lead to hot water increase.
Ways to Minimize ADHD Impulsiveness
Reminding the child of expectations before he is in the unstructured situation is a good idea. Perhaps the expectations are the same as always. The child, however, can be caught up in the excitement of knowing that summer is near. A gentle, yet firm, reminder of the expectations can help.
Allow the child to enjoy the additional chances for spring fun. However, remember that the fun times should not encompass the entire evening. Maintain the usual schedule for homework, chores, dinner, and bedtime as much as possible. Talk to the child about when the outside breaks will happen. Creating a predictable situation and expectations gives the child the external structure that he needs.
End of the Year Homework Strategies
Communicate the sad, but true, expectation that homework must be done until the end of the year. Establish a routine that will allow the child to have breaks and rewards. Breaking the homework task into smaller sessions is a great strategy for children with ADHD at any time of the year. Being able to see the end of the job is even more important when neighborhood friends are calling.
Be happy with the child about the upcoming break. Remind him that he has done a great job and put in commendable effort throughout the year. This is a time to feel satisfaction for a job well done. Reinforce the idea that although the end is near, the year is not yet complete. Continuing homework is necessary to maintain grades and learn the skills that will be needed next school year.
Plan for a Summer Schedule That Works
Take time now to plan the summer. Summer definitely offers more free time, but even summer needs an element of structure for the child who has attention difficulties. Now is the time to decide how much time will be spent in structured activities such as team sports, camping, and fun classes. It is also the time to create a summer schedule that will be friendly to the child with ADHD.
The end of the school year is a time to implement the external structure that the child with ADHD needs. That structure will allow the child to enjoy the fun activities that signal the successful conclusion of a grade.
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