Procrastination is a common problem among children with ADHD and avoidance is a way many children deal with stress and anxiety. Many of the parents of children with ADHD that I have coached often complain about their child’s endless procrastination particularly when it comes to homework or doing chores. Some parents that I have talked to said they have found themselves having to act as homework/chore police: tension mounts, voices rise, and before they know it, they hear themselves accusing their child of being lazy or unmotivated. Below are some techinques and tools to help your child with ADHD overcome procrastination without pushing them overboard,
-Help your child set and prioritize goals and determine what needs to be done to achieve them. Assist your child in estimating how much time and what resources they’ll need. Keep expectations realistic for children’s age and abilities.
-Create a calendar with your child or “to do” list that identifies daily expectations. Crossing off completed items gives your child with ADHD a sense of achievement and confidence.
-Make a suggestion to your child to tackle the uninteresting tasks first so they feel a sense of relief. Starting is the biggest hurdle; and taken smalls steps can help get the ball rolling.
-Assist your child to break down tasks/homework into manageable “can do” parts. Cleaning a room includes steps such as picking up toys or clothing, then dusting, followed by vacuuming. If your child has a paper to write use mind mapping to break topics down.
-Make homework and chore time a regular routine. Decide if everyone will clean house together Friday night or Saturday morning. Or assign chores to different days of the week.
-Encourage organization. Chore supplies should be stored together and easy to carry. Homework supplies should be stocked so your child don’t procrastinate by getting up and down looking for a pencil, paper, or book.
-Set up a “reward” for making gradual progress. Make leisure enjoyments dependent on accomplishing required tasks or chores: “Once you finish your spelling assignment, you can play a video game for 15 minutes.