How a Daily Routine Helps With ADD
Raising kids is demanding. It requires our full attention, endless energy, and great multitasking skills. Managing children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) poses an additional set of challenges and dynamics in the family, and can prove to be overwhelming for everyone involved.
For these reasons, establishing a healthy routine is beneficial for the entire family, not only for attention deficits. Routines have been proven to help children by providing a sense of security and predictability, well-known expectations, and stability.
Life for children dealing with ADD can be quite distressing. They are often misunderstood, frequently getting in trouble, and at times have difficulties making friends. Giving them unconditional love and support, combined with a daily routine, can drastically improve their condition, socially, emotionally and physically.
Sense of security
Well-structured and predictable daily routines will help your child feel more secure. The schedules, rules, limits and expectations will make him feel more in control, knowing what’s coming next.
The more organization, the better. Simple, short tasks at set times of the day is the best way to provide a good structure for your child. He or she will know what is expected, and when it is time to focus.
By building this solid foundation, you are giving your child a safe place to learn how to be more self-reliant, one task at a time.
The consistency of a morning, afternoon, and evening schedule is crucial. The daily repetition of every task will eventually become more natural and automatic for your child, giving him a wonderful sense of accomplishment and stability.
Routine will also help your child learn healthy habits on how to take care of herself, and regulate her own behavior for short periods of time.
Another great benefit of the daily routine is that every given assignment will keep your child busy and focused, reducing the free time during which he or she could become out of control and cause trouble.
This will result in less punishment or discord, and better family harmony overall.
Promote a clutter-free environment
Clutter is proven to reduce our ability to focus and process information, which is already the main problem of attention deficit disorders.
As part of your child’s daily routine, include short tasks for picking up his room. This will insure a clutter-free environment for him to sleep in, and do his homework, providing additional peace of mind.
Tools for the future
As you teach your child how to stick to a routine, and retain her focus long enough to finish a task, you are providing her with self-management tools on how to break down chores and responsibilities into smaller ones, so they are easier to manage and complete.
This will be necessary for school, work and other responsibilities later on in life.
Make sure to also include physical or outdoor activities in your child’s routine; burning off some energy will always prove beneficial.
Conflicts often surface in families with multiple siblings, if all the attention is directed to the child with ADD. It is important to apply a routine to everyone, and create a predictable, harmonious environment for all family members to find his or her place without feeling left out, or the constant target of reprimands.
Praise and support will do wonders, especially if you are able to notice the efforts put in, whether the task gets completed properly or not.
Remember to arm yourself with patience as you learn what works best for you and your ADD child. It is a dynamic process that will require some adjustments, as your child gets older.
A daily routine can help your child with ADD. If you are a parent of a child with ADD and want to learn about creating a positive daily routine or to learn more about Crossroad’s Counseling child counseling services please visit our child counseling page by clicking here or call us at 623-680-3486 for a free 20 minute phone consultation.