Ready, set, GO! Five ways to Motivate Kids with ADHD

Getting any child to do homework can be difficult at the best of times. But kids with ADHD need a little creative coaching from their parents and teachers.

One of my favourite strategies is to use humour or fun to motivate kids. Combine learning the times tables with bouncing a basketball. Or help your child learn about fractions while making a favorite family cookie recipe.

Having trouble getting your eight year old out of bed? One family found tickling encouraged their sluggish kid to get moving.

Novelty is also a motivator. Do something completely different. Act out a funny voice for the dog to encourage your child to feed and walk the dog on time. Make reading more fun by introducing different kinds of books. Comic books can be a great outlet, for example (no kidding – you want to get them started!). Or introduce a book where children choose the next plot twist in the story and come up with a new ending each time.

You can also introduce a little healthy competition and a sense of urgency. Set a timer and see how many math problems can be done before the timer goes off. Get siblings to compete to see who can pick up their room the fastest. Have a race with Mom to see who can climb the stairs quickly and have their pyjamas on first. Be careful not to add stress, but for the right kind of kid, these tactics can work magic.

What motivates or interests your child? Does your child want more time with Dad? The two could plan a special activity together after homework or a music lesson is done. Maybe playing ball or a special board game would do the trick.

Sometimes half the battle is just to get started. Make a game out of ANYTHING. Make it fun, have a competition, pique their interest with a special reward, or try something completely new. Different tips work for different kids. Ready, set, go … motivate!

Guest post by Elaine Taylor-Klaus

Parents can find a wealth of information on how to raise kids with ADD and ADHD on her website, ImpactADHD.com, created in 2011 with co-founder Diane Dempster.

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