Reply To: Managing High Stress/Organized Kid Activities with ADHD

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It certainly is tough to feel judged with the struggle you describe….Given the age of your child though, it’s important to remember that a 13 year old is old enough to take on much of the management of her own activity. I have a 13 year old daughter as well and agree that there’s a lot of drama (and mine does have ADHD). However, she participates on a team sport, and the coach tells the kids directly that bringing all of their gear and notifying her of any absences is all of the athlete’s responsibility, and NONE of the parent’s. I loved that. Of course, the coach has given the parents a copy of the instructions so that we can help the kids from a backup perspective. But, the coach has said that if things are forgotten, and communication is not made, the athlete herself must address it with the coach, and the parents are not responsible for doing that.

In the same vein, my other child also had a wonderful first grade teacher who was told often that, “My mom forgot ____.” She would respond, “Is your mom in first grade? I don’t think so. Who’s in first grade? You are!” So, I’m feeling empowered by this coach and this teacher that the sooner we can let our kids–ADHD or not–know that these responsibilities for class/activities are centered on them, the earlier they can start practicing their organizational skills. My teenager seems to step up more after she forgets to pack something, and is motivated enough that she doesn’t want it to happen again–so I think it’s working slowly, but surely.