Advertisement

How can I teach my child with ADHD to finish activities?

One of the biggest lessons your child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) needs to succeed in the real world is to press on and finish activities, even when she feels bored or irritated by them. You can teach her this lesson by pairing it with a more fun version and a powerful coaching tool -- the Half-Hour of Power. This is a half hour that is fun and sets the stage for success. During the Half-Hour of Power, your child gets the opportunity to indulge in some fun physical or artistic activity. It could be going for a walk, shooting hoops, drawing, or Rollerblading. This half hour is nag free, meaning she gets to do her activity without being told to get back to work or do something more productive.

The other part of the deal is that you tell her she gets this in return for successfully completing her Half-Hour of Irritation. You can work with your child to design what this will be. It should consist of tasks that are not intensely frustrating, not strongly resisted, but that are mildly irritating and require persistent and consistent follow-through. As your child learns to push through irritation, she will gain the skills for persisting in the face of even larger upsets and frustrations. A good choice of activity for the Half-Hour of Irritation could be creating a plan for organizing her week, filing papers, cleaning her room, doing laundry, or if she is mastering some discipline such as a musical instrument, it could be some aspect of practicing that is mildly irritating to her. By pairing these two half hours together, your child will have the motivation to complete the Half-Hour of Irritation while gaining the unstructured time she needs to indulge in what fills her with delight.
The Gift of ADHD Activity Book: 101 Ways to Turn Your Child's Problems into Strengths (Companion)

More About this Book

The Gift of ADHD Activity Book: 101 Ways to Turn Your Child's Problems into Strengths (Companion)

So much depends on how you look at things: Are you a glass-half-empty person, or do you discover advantages where other people find only weaknesses? When it comes to raising healthy, happy kids,...

Continue Learning about ADHD

Managing ADHD in Adult Relationships
Managing ADHD in Adult Relationships
Adults living with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) probably know quite a bit about the symptoms that come with the condition. But if y...
Read More
What is interpersonal intuition in adult ADD?
Lara Honos-Webb, PhDLara Honos-Webb, PhD
Many adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD) have a gift of interpersonal intuition -- a qual...
More Answers
Is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) serious?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be serious. People who have the condition may ha...
More Answers
The At-Home Test to Detect Your ADHD Risk
The At-Home Test to Detect Your ADHD Risk

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.