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How Can ADD Moms Teach Good Habits?
"How do I help my ADHD children learn basic skills, like following routines and organizing, when I struggle with them myself as a mom with ADD?"
Here are two rules to remember: First, put on your own oxygen mask. Meaning, unless you take care of yourself, it will be difficult to take care of your children who have attention deficit disorder.
Second, you need not do it alone. For example, you remind your daughter to use her school planner, she reminds you to use your PDA. Turn this into a game by saying: "I know where my PDA is right now. Do you know where your planner is?"
One mother I worked with awarded prizes/praise/hugs to her kids when they returned her PDA to its shelf by the phone if they found it anywhere else in the house.
If you're talking complete chaos, start by setting a basic schedule: Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. Involve every member of the family in projects like spring cleaning. Don't be afraid to reach out to an organized family member (an aunt, grandmother, or cousin). Ask this person to come over and assist you with cleaning out your files or helping your child organize his room. Then, take her out to dinner as a thank-you.
Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.