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Parents of ADHD Children

I will give you an ice cream if you do your homework!!!

I will take all suggestions on getting my 8yo son with ADHD to do his homework with it not taking 3-4 hours which is 3 hours of arguing and 1 hour of actual homework..and I can not get him to read or “enjoy” just reading a book..and I can forget about writing….Does anyone use tutors or anything outside of school for help…Its just hard for me to understand sometimes cause I read everything at that age..and I loved school and school work…I just want him to get that passion for something more than WWE wrestlers and video games…


1. Reading- start with comic books like “Bone”, eventually he will work up to paragraph books, it takes a long lime, currently our daughter (13yo)  is a non-stop reader, didn’t read at all age 8 and 9.

2. tutoring- yes, our daughter wouldn’t be where she is now, without all the extra help, after school former teachers of hers tutored reading and writing. Once we sent her to an 8 week summer program extremely expensive- it changed her world and was worth it.

3. bribes- yes, if you spin it as “positive reinforcement”, but now my teenager says “you can’t bribe me mom, I’ll do it if I want to” I’m more subtle now, parents need to constantly re-work their strategies…

Posted by boomer on Apr 05, 2017 at 6:19pm

Boys don’t like reading like girls do.  So, yes, start with something he is interested in.  I used to take my son to Barnes and Noble and the library and let him pick out subjects he wanted to read about. 

Comic books are great, if he likes them.  My son liked the I Survived books at that age. 

Bribery works really well at that age!  I used it for all it was worth.  You get this done by X time and you can have 30 minutes on your tablet, or whatever.  Then I would say 15 minutes of reading equals 15 minutes electronics.  Anything it takes…

Posted by cmullen17 on Apr 05, 2017 at 6:30pm

This is exactly what I am still going through and have been since 1st grade. My son is 15 years old. I have tried tutors, learning centers (DON’T!) and after school homework help programs. The only thing that works is to hover over him, show him positive reinforcement, and show that you are encouraging him. The more I nag and yell, the more he shut down. The more I cried, the less he did. So positive words, being there and literally hovering over every assignment is what got him on honor roll. My son is so smart, but the ADHD gives him the attention span that keeps his mind racing and his memory not so much. He will then forget to turn in the homework. This is such a work in progress. Good luck.

Posted by adhdmoma on Apr 05, 2017 at 8:04pm

@adhdmoma Funny I was just looking at a Sylvan learning center for Summer..and I do hover but then that makes him mad too.

I just hate when I have him rewrite a number or a letter and he says Im dumb or stupid..I promptly respond with no you aren’t because I had you tested..which is true..he couldn’t qualify for a educational IEP because his tests were ridiculously good but I said please sit in his classes and observe and poof I had the IEP…I am all about positive reinforcement and bribery but I will be honest some nights I do just give up and we do it the next night..I will keep on with everyones suggestions and hopefully find a good balance ..thx

Posted by SDAJ on Apr 05, 2017 at 11:30pm

As someone who was just like your son, I’ll put in that pushing and fighting about it only makes him dig in more. It’s part of the haywire emotional processing - when we’re overstimulated or overwhelmed, we shut down.

I love books and would frequently read anywhere from 3 to 5 in a week, but hated pretty much any reading I had to do that was required as part of a project. Especially in older works, the language is denser and takes more energy to process so it’s much harder to engage. I’ve had good luck seeking out alternative media forms, specifically audiobook and graphic novels. You could also try having him read out loud to you or another family member. It’s more work but engaging on two levels - reading and speaking- could help his brain slow down just a little.

Scheduling breaks might help too. Try starting with doing just 20-30 minutes of homework, than letting him take a break to do something that’s easy to come back from - getting a snack, running around outside the house, a short game on a phone, etc. Not video games or movies or anything - they can be too engaging.

Finally, it’s worth taking a look at his homework load. Schools have become notorious for overloading kids with homework because they can’t teach everything they need to during the day to get kids to pass the standardized tests. If he has five subjects and each homework is long enough that it might take an hour, not including “projects” that aren’t even due yet, maybe it’s time to talk with the school. Five hours of homework on a weeknight is insane - but not unheard of.

Posted by brittanykwilson on Apr 07, 2017 at 3:17pm

Also, he may never have a passion for books and learning, but that doesn’t mean he can’t learn the skills to get done what he needs to get done so that he can enjoy WWE and video games without the background stress of “things I should be doing but haven’t yet”.

Posted by brittanykwilson on Apr 07, 2017 at 3:19pm

Learning centers are not prepared for ADHD or ADD kids. They leave them unguided and unattended. I was hoping for help with Huntingdon, but wound up WASTING $1800!! I don’t recommend them, then when called several times to discuss his exit testing, strategy while attending, no communication at all from them. Honestly a huge was of time and money. and my son was more upset for having to go, and I was mostly frustrated because they weren’t hearing my reasons for bringing him. I wanted to work on his study habits, his organization, thats it. They had him doing 6th grade work as a future 8th grader. Left him alone in a cubical doing reading and multiple choice. So frustrating. It is such a relief to know other parents can give advice on these situations, because some parents have normal kids. My son has never been normal. He had this since he was 6, I think earlier. Even in preschool he showed signs.
When he does find something of interest, he is so involved. I hope he finds his niche in life, because he is failing 4 subjects in 8th grade, not doing well.
———Hover mother.

Posted by adhdmoma on Apr 07, 2017 at 3:26pm

One good thing is he has an EXCELLENT teacher right now who is all about positive reinforcement and gives the kids mantras on just trying their best..He’s all about showing him that you atleast attempted to do the work and homework..and if my son is a day or two late on something he is ok with it..I think the homework is adequate for his grade 30 min reading every night..a math worksheet no more than 6 problems and review of division or multiplication on an APP they use at school..the problem is he sweet talks his way out of doing it at after school care and its 6 pm when we get home so the medication is just about on its last leg so it makes for a fun time..but I will definitely take more breaks while we are doing it..Thanks

@adhdmoma I thought i was the only one that said ” normal” The thing that amazes me is how brilliant our children are in just everyday life so smart..witty and gifted..but when it comes to school they fall apart..I wish sometimes I could crawl in his little head and just see how things are..So glad none of us are alone in this adventure..

Posted by SDAJ on Apr 08, 2017 at 12:08am

The key to motivating the ADHD brain is interest. The ADHD brain is NOT motivated by importance, like our neurotypical brains are. If schoolwork is hard for him, he is going to resist. I would make homework routine. We give a 1-hour break after we get home from school, then homework. He’s not allowed to get on the computer with his friends until homework is done. He hurries through and doesn’t do a great job, but he’s been working his tail off all day at school to try to focus, stay on task, and do things the school’s way, which doesn’t work for him. Of course, he doesn’t have much left for homework and certainly doesn’t want to be doing it.

Here are some tips and strategies for homework with a student with ADHD:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Apr 10, 2017 at 3:08pm

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