The last post in Brain Balance’s “Back to School Update” series discussed setting goals and objectives with your ADHD child before the school year begins as a way to get kids involved in their own success. In this post, we continue our discussion by sharing specific rules and guidelines to help children maintain their focus and commitment to their goals. Dr. Robert Melillo, creator and co-founder of the Brain Balance Program, suggests enforcing specific rules in his book Reconnected Kids to establish a routine and create healthy habits for your ADHD child. Read below to find a partial list of his suggested rules. While they can be modified to fit your family, these rules are a great starting place for helping your ADHD child succeed:
- Get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. Get fully dressed—pants, shirt, socks, and shoes—before breakfast.
- Eat a healthy breakfast, take vitamins.
- Check backpack to make sure nothing is missing. Add lunch or make sure you have lunch money.
- Get to school on time and attend each class promptly. Sit near the front in each class, be attentive and respectful, ask questions, and take detailed notes.
- After school, go immediately to scheduled activity or go directly home.
- Eat a healthy snack after getting home and start homework. There is no TV or computer time until all homework is done.
- Homework is to be done at the kitchen table or in the library only. No iPod, music, phone, social networking, or texting is allowed while doing homework.
- After homework is complete and checked by a parent, you may have free time. When weather is nice, free time must take place outdoors until it starts to get dark or dinner is called.
- Screen time—television, computer, video games—is limited to one hour, fifteen minutes each weekday, and two and a half hours per day on weekends. Extra screen time must be earned.
- Come in for dinner immediately when called. The family will eat together when possible. Each family member will wait for everyone to be finished before getting up from the table. Don’t ask to be excused without a good reason.
- Prepare backpack and select the next day’s wardrobe before bedtime.
- Set a non-negotiable bedtime during the week. Set an appropriate weekend and holiday bedtime, and allow extra time to be earned. Set a curfew that must be kept. No excuses!
- Set a time limit for phone calls, texting, and social media if applicable.
- Treat and speak to others with respect, and always clean up after yourself
- Study for at least two days before a test. All projects will be completed a day before they are due.
- Sunday night from 8:00 to 9:00 is family meeting hour. Nothing else is scheduled during that time. Every Sunday each family member will write an action plan for the week.
Need more ideas for creating routine and structure for your ADHD child? Pick up a copy of Reconnected Kids by Dr. Robert Melillo! Join the conversation by sharing this article with friends or by posting a comment below on how you keep your ADHD child focused on success. Want to know more about the Brain Balance Program®? Contact us today!