Engaging a child with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) can be a difficult task at times. Some days seem to be easier than others, but it all boils down to my own motivation to keep her on task. Although you can be faced with a great amount of frustration, you need to realize that the child is honestly doing their best. For some parents, this can be quite difficult at times. You just need to realize that you’re not going to be able to force them to change their genetic makeup and you need to roll with the punches.
1. Reading More – As my daughter loves everything dinosaur related, I’ve used this hobby to engage her to accomplish a lot of tasks. Although she doesn’t have much motivation to read some materials, she is always eager to read if it has to do with her reptilian “friends.” This has made a great impact in her reading at school in general. Although the teacher still has a problem getting her to read requested materials, my young daughter puts a great deal of effort into her ever growing collection of dinosaur books.
2. Repetitive Repeats – One way I have been able to get her to focus on a task is by having her repeat my instructions back to me. If she gets it wrong, I give her the instructions again asking her to repeat what I just said. This way, she has to think about what it is I want her to do in order for her to relay it back to me. This has worked exceptionally well, and I’ve found that it is much easier to repeat myself in this manner over the frustration of dealing with miscommunication later on.
3. Eliminating Distractions – Limiting distractions when she is learning has made a vast improvement in how well she retains knowledge. Even in school, her teacher tells me of how my daughter doesn’t seem to focus well in the group of children within an entire class, but she can easily do what needs to be done if she is alone or in a much smaller group. I’ve found this to be true within the home as well. When I am helping her with homework or asking her to complete a task, all music and television needs to be off momentarily. Having her focus on my eyes while I speak to her also help her to remain focused.
4. Scheduling – Being on a set daily schedule has been greatly beneficial for my daughter. Although the first few weeks were a bit of a rocky start, she has adapted and has made great progress keeping to it for day-to-day requirements. However, this required a great deal of vigilance on my part. You can’t just make a schedule and expect an ADD child to follow it from the beginning. There are times where I have to stop and remind her what she is supposed to be doing, but those moments are getting fewer and fewer as time goes on. I’ve also had to rearrange my schedule a bit in order to keep her on task, but it’s a small price to pay to help my daughter take the first steps to being successful in life.
While raising an ADD daughter has been frustrating at times, she has been our sunlight when things seem to get dark. Her outlook on life is comical and she is always in a perky mood. No matter how much life tends to beat me up, I can always rely on her to be the one to pick me up with a hug and an, “I love you.”
Elizabeth Reed is a freelance writer and a resident blogger at Liveinnanny.org. She particularly enjoys writing about parenting, childcare, health and wellness. In addition, she is an expert consultant on issues related to household management and kids.