"I mentor an ADHD child and I have a hard time keeping track of her. What can I do?"
by Carol Brady, Ph.D.
Bravo to you for being a Big Sister! ADHD kids benefit so much from positive mentoring relationships. They also benefit from a lot of structure, so try the following plan for your next day out.
1. Ask the girl and her family to make a list of her favorite activities.
2. Choose a structured activity that will not let her "take off" easily (avoid malls or large crowds). For example, you may pick a paint-your-own pottery project store.
3. Keep the outing short, and plan your time down to the minute.
4. When you pick her up, tell her the plan and the rules at the outset. "Today we are going to the pottery barn, and then to the ice cream store. We will be home by 4 p.m. In order to be safe, you must stay with me. If you want to look at something along the way, ask me first, so I can go with you. If you don’t stay close, we will go home and try again next time."
Plan, prepare, and set the rules in advance, and your visits should go more smoothly. The positives your "little sister" will gain from the relationship will justify your efforts.