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Parents of ADHD Children

Mom w/ADD can't help ADHD son with good study habits!

I’m the mother of 2, one being a 6yr old son with ADHD.  I was diagnosed with ADD in my 30s. My husband was a terrible student in school and as you can imagine I was too.  My problem is since we don’t have any good student habits, how can we provide support for our son. We’re lost and could really use some suggestions!


you could send him for external tuition in the fields that he lacks.

Posted by highly stressed on Aug 05, 2014 at 4:59am

Hiring a tutor is one idea—even if they only work on study skills. Another idea is to ask the school to work on study skills with him.

At the age of 6, it’s less about study habits and more about planning and organization. Being sure he writes down the homework assignment, packs and brings home what he needs to complete it, plans the amount of time it will take to complete it, finishes the work, puts it back in his bag to take to school, and turns it in at school. Teaching this is really about support and repetition until it becomes habit. You will need the school to support it on their end. Maybe create a checklist for completing homework and post it—that will help parents and child alike to follow the same routine. wink

Here are some articles from with more advice and strategies on homework and study skills:

Good luck!

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 05, 2014 at 1:44pm

Hi Ciodi!

I agree with Penny, at the age of 6 it is important to help your son develop the organization skills that he will require as the demands of school increase.  Following a regular routine will help all of you remember what is required.  A checklist can be extremely helpful, many of my clients have found it helpful to have a checklist that is listed in the chronological order of the tasks along with the time required to complete them.

Timers with rewards and breaks are often key components to success.

Since you were diagnosed recently, have you received any help for yourself?  It is not uncommon for mothers (with or without ADHD) to put so much emphasis on their children they forget about helping themselves.  A coach to help you organize your own life can be instrumental in teaching you the skills you would like to teach your kids.

Keep up the great work you are doing with yourself and your kids!

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to brainstorm ideas.

Carrie Silverberg,  BA (Psyc), RECE
ADHD Consultant and Coach
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by on Aug 05, 2014 at 5:08pm

Been there!! smile smile  My son was diagnosed at 7, and although neither my husband or I have formal diagnoses, we both show enough diagnostic criteria to be suspect. (He seems to be combined type and I seem to be inattentive smile

What works for us is first of all, my husband stays out of it. This simplifies things tremendously.

I use lists, and timers, and a schedule. Homework time starts at 4:30 (fyi my kids are 10 and 11 - my ADHD child is the 10 year old).

The lists are critical. I have a duo tang that I use, and for each day I simply list the “home study” items I want my son to complete (these include things like multiplication drills and piano practice).

As soon as the kids walk through the door after school, I set the stove timer to ring at 4:30, and I check my son’s back pack to see if he’s brought home any homework, which I add to his list.

At 4:30 when the timer rings, they put away their screens, the TV gets turn off, and they start their homework.

So far so good…

Having the routine has really helped my son. He’s able to sit and focus for the most part because this is a consistent activity that’s done every day. Sometimes if his homework list is long, I let him take short breaks (10 mins?), again using the timer (extremely important, or we’d all forget!! lol).

You could do the same even though your son is only 6, although make the list really short, and depending how he responds, give him a break between each item. For instance, he could practice printing for 2 minutes, have a break, then do some addition (those are just examples you can use if his teacher doesn’t send home work. At 6, it’s not what he does that’s important more so than the fact that he’s required to sit and do it). Remember that it should be short though because he is young. At this age it’s the habit and routine that count, not the duration.

Also, I really encourage the list idea, and let him cross off each item as he finishes it. This gives him a sense of accomplishment, and he’ll “see the light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak. If he feels like he has some control and knows it will end soon, he’ll be more likely to comply and not kick up a fuss.

Oh and also, I used to (no need anymore) give them 5 min warnings “homework time is in 5 minutes”  ...this really helps with the ADHD transition difficulties.

One more thing to add (I could talk about this all day, lol)  ...I have my son read and practice piano over the summer, but because there’s no school every day to keep ME structured, I forget fairly often. So what I do is leave myself notes where I’ll see them: coffee pot, lap top, etc. Figure out what works for you, first. For me it’s visual reminders.

Posted by OopsForgotAgain on Aug 06, 2014 at 4:01pm

I can’t stress enough that you read up on Executive Function Failure. Then read it every 6 months to remind yourself of what you’re likely dealing with. I believe I read, and it makes sense, that everyone with ADHD has Executive Function Failure, and that that is what ADHD is, but not everyone with EFF has ADHD. My son was diagnosed in 1st grade, but it wasn’t until he was in 6th that someone mentioned EFF and it resonated. What a relief finally! He just started 7th grade. Every year has been difficult (for me!) because he hasn’t cared about school. He hasn’t had any problems—I have, ha ha.  It would have been huge for me to know about EFF early on so that I knew what really was going on and that it wasn’t just him intentionally not caring or trying. I haven’t figured out any great solutions but just knowing has helped me in how I approach and encourage him to do his work, request that he correct errors on his papers, and define what is going on with respect to his approach to school work, fwiw.

I have enjoyed watching (and been able to give him praise) my son do the creative parts of his school work, making a model of an invertebrate, for instance. Boy, he knew exactly what to make it out of and how to design it and from reading the assignment to completion took about 10 minutes (typically they do like to rush through things and NEVER check work OR re-do anything they’ve done incorrectly). It was quite a rough outcome compared to what the other kids brought, but he did it completely on his own and I’m not sure many others did, as 3rd graders (they were displayed on tables in the school hall). He commented on the difference but wasn’t very bothered.

My son takes metadate cd (since 2nd grade) and (I added) intuniv before school, and I have the school give a small dose of metadate at 3:00 to help him do what he needs to do the rest of the day. Then he takes melatonin near bedtime. Even when he hasn’t had the pm dose, melatonin helps him calm down for sleep. I’m also having a psychiatrist advise me on whether he’s on the right Rx or something else could help him better, as well as starting spme counseling for him. There’s no question he needs the Rx help. I’m not sure if the counseling can help with the ADHD but there’s stress with his non-custodial dad who’s of no help or support and hopefully working through that will yield benefits for other parts of his life.

Posted by Bloomingmom on Aug 09, 2014 at 9:53pm

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