Not listening to and following directions is directly linked with procrastination. Procrastination doesn’t only affect adults. Children and teenagers often put off tasks and activities too, especially when they have ADHD.
Children with ADHD already experience higher levels of emotion and stress so when they put off important tasks, the stress only intensifies. While children and adults alike are all guilty of procrastination, procrastination is a tell-tale sign of ADHD.
There are ways that you can help your ADHD child follow directions in order to help them alleviate the stress that comes with procrastination.
Here are a few tips that you can use to help your child follow directions better:
1. Focus on the benefits. Why does this task need to get done? Go over the benefit of completing something so that your child can focus on the light at the end of the tunnel instead of the actual task at hand. Make the benefits specific too so that your child can visualize it.
2. Break the task up. Make the task more manageable by breaking it up into smaller steps. Keep the steps simple too so that it doesn’t seem too overwhelming. You could even create a checklist that your child can work through in order for things to not seem so overwhelming.
3. Make it fun. If you’re trying to get your child to tidy their room or complete one of their chores, turning it into a game might help the task seem less daunting. Turn chores into a game or put on one of their favorite songs to create a fun atmosphere.
4. Get rid of distractions. When it comes to children with ADHD, you want to make sure that you have their full attention before attempting to give them directions. Switch off any tablets, mobile phones or televisions before you attempt to discuss a task with them.
5. Keep checking in. Since your child gets distracted very easily, make a point of checking in with them to see how much progress they’ve made and to find out whether they may be struggling with anything, especially if they’re doing homework or completing a project for school. Gently get them back on track instead of punishing them.
You will very quickly discover which tactics work the best with your child in order to keep them on track more often. You may even want to implement some sort of rewards system where they can earn tokens or points that they can redeem for a reward at a later stage.
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