Reply To: 4-Year old: Eating & Dressing

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents Behavior & Discipline 4-Year old: Eating & Dressing Reply To: 4-Year old: Eating & Dressing

Dr. Eric

I have this conversation in different forms with about every family with an ADHD child that I work with…

Here is what I recommend.
– Environment — We have to keep the distractions as much to a minimum in these areas. Unfortunately for my daughter, this means no TV when my ADHD son needs to get something done. (Our family is better off with the TV off during the weekdays anyway.)

– I am a big fan of visual schedules and checklists. Both of my kids were early readers, so we were able to get away with plastering dollar store white boards everywhere. For example, each child had their own white board in the bathroom and kitchen for their morning (bathroom) and after-school (kitchen) routines.

If they are not ready to read, make a visual schedule that pairs the word with a Bing/Google/Stock image. You can make them pretty quick on most presentation or word processing programs. I recommend putting them in a plastic sheet protector from an office supply store. Then, the kids can use a dry-erase marker to track their steps and progress. It will take a while to implement, but it facilitates their executive functions and self-monitoring.

If a child knows the steps, but is just slow or daydreams, you MAY want to consider timers or other methods of reminders. Be very careful though, it works great for some. However, I see it backfire where the reminder chime or timer becomes an aversive and the child is angry, scared, fearful, etc. of whatever is timing/reminding. We don’t want that…