“Have you even started your homework? It’s 10 o’clock for crying out loud!”
I’ve heard this from so many parents describing what it’s like to manage an ADHD child. At first glance, a therapist could think, “Why would your kids start their homework so late? How irresponsible!” But an experienced therapist will know to ask, “Why doesn’t your child have a set homework time?” When this question is asked, that is when I see the parent coming up with every excuse outside of “the dog ate it.”
I get it: we parents have hectic lives and need to stay on more things than just our kid’s homework. But more often than not, parents with ADHD kids are most likely parents with ADHD. The way I explain ADHD to adults is: “You’re brain’s good, it’s just the secretary part of your brain isn’t.” So kids with ADHD can’t be expected to have a better brain secretary than you as an adult do. I know that they should be responsible enough to do it on their own, but remember the last “D” in ADHD stands for “Disorder.”
So if you’re having trouble managing the disorder, their homework will be done at the very last minute; their waking up and getting ready for school will be done at the very last minute and I’d be willing to bet that a lot of your stuff isn’t done until the last minute. But when you as the parent can understand why you’re disorganized and what to do about it, you’ll be better able to manage a child with ADHD.
If you’re a parent with a child who’s been diagnosed with ADHD, consider being checked out by a responsible clinician as well.
David Katkin is the CEO of Katkin and Associates. He has been working as a therapist for 20 years and specializes in the treatment of ADHD in children and adults. For more information about Katkin and Associates check out their web page at: www.KatkinTherapy.com. Interested in more information about ADHD? Take the quiz here: http://katkintherapy.com/adhd_tests.htm