When ADD adults are also parents to children with attention deficit, keeping the family organized can be especially challenging. Use these tips to set up systems to organize your household, discipline your children, support your kids in school, and just keep things under control.
Organize the Household
Write everything down. Anything that might be forgotten or overlooked by any member of the family -- phone messages, to-do lists, appointments -- should be written down. ADD adults should keep paper and pen next every phone in the house and date every entry to stay on top of things.
Maintain a family schedule. Get a large wall calendar, and post it for all to see with color-coding for each family member. If they're old enough, kids should post their own appointments, due dates, etc. The more involved they are in the scheduling process, the more likely they’ll be to stay on track.
Create a morning ritual. Set up a routine so kids know exactly what to do each morning: put on clothes, eat breakfast brush teeth, and so on. If your child has trouble remembering your get-out-the-door-smoothly routine, create a poster that shows what to do in order. If your child takes medication, consider waking him up to give it to him a half an hour before he really needs to get up.
Get up 30 minutes early. Use the time before the kids are up to make lunch, check to see the backpack's packed, etc. to prevent last-minute crises. If you're an evening person, do these chores the night before.
Be consistent with meals. Set regular mealtimes for breakfast, supper, and even weekend meals. Occasionally, you may have to move mealtimes to work around sports events and other activities, but do your best to keep feeding ADHD kids consistent.
Simplify grocery shopping. ADD moms often have trouble with planning meals, forgetting what to buy - or feeling overwhelmed by all the choices at the store. Create index cards of meals you'd like to prepare that include the ingredients. Keep the cards in your purse or briefcase so they're handy for when you get to the store. When you shop, stay focused -- and save money on impulse buys -- by only purchasing only what's on the cards.
Enlist a non-ADD person to help. Be it a spouse, hired household help, trusted friend or neighbor, if you need it, ask someone else for help to get things done. Feel free to take a "time out" whenever you feel overwhelmed so you can refocus.
Next: Organize Your Discipline