Quick word-association game: When you hear "chores," you think "stimulating," "fascinating," and "creative," right? Fat chance.
Even for people without attention deficit (ADD/ADHD), chores are nothing short of torture. But they also help lay the groundwork for success in life -- forcing us to clear the clutter, establish priorities, and be held accountable to family, friends, and colleagues.
In fact, research conducted recently at the University of Minnesota concluded that the best predictor of young-adult success is not IQ or even internal motivation, but rather chores. The earlier a child starts doing chores, the more successful he will be.
Now, here's the problem: ADHD brains don't produce enough of the neurotransmitters needed to maintain sustained focus. This chemical imbalance makes it tough for children with attention deficit to complete anything, let alone boring chores that provide none of the stimulation or feedback that engages an ADD mind.
Thus the "chore wars" -- a daily reality in many ADHD and non-ADHD households. As parents, we know that chores help our kids develop the life skills they need to become independent adults. But we also know that the fight can be exhausting -- sometimes more exhausting than just doing the work ourselves.
But this stuff is important, and behavior modification can help. So here are some tips and pointers that will help you (along with a lot of perseverance) implement a consistent, accountable routine of chores in your household.
Linda Karanzalis, M.S., is an adult with ADD/ADHD, a learning specialist, the founder of ADDvantages Learning Center, and an ADD/ADHD coach who specializes in helping both children and adults with ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities to reach their potential.