2014 is here, and the new year is a great time to help kids with learning and developmental disorders like ADHD make and keep new year's resolutions. It's no secret that kids with ADHD and other disorders often have trouble sticking to a plan and completing tasks. Helping your child manage and complete resolutions will give him or her a sense of pride and confidence. Find below our newly updated tips for making your child's resolutions successful!
1. Help your child choose two or three goals for the year, and include a tentative date for completing them. Keep the list short and manageable so the child doesn't get overwhelmed. For kids with ADHD, it may be helpful to break down each goal into a few simple "action steps." For example, if your child's goal is to improve a specific grade, an action step could be determining an amount of study time each evening for that subject.
2. If your child has a learning disorder or Asperger Syndrome, new year’s resolutions may include improving reading and math skills or physical accomplishments like riding a bike or playing a team sport. Whatever the goal, avoid making it too specific in the beginning. If your child wants to become a better reader, make that the initial goal. For example, have your child write “I resolve to improve my reading skills” instead of “I resolve to read five books per week.” Once your child has set a goal, discuss concrete ways to make it happen. After the child has seen some progress and gained confidence, it may be time to set more specific goals, but keep it simple in the beginning so your child doesn’t feel overwhelmed or disappointed. Take your child's individual needs into account when goal setting.
3. Put your child's new year’s resolutions in writing and hang them in a prominent place like the refrigerator or family organization board. Remind your child to stay focused on his or her goals. Have school-aged children write a short sentence describing each goal, and get the whole family involved in supporting their effort and progress.
4. Praise your child’s effort as well as accomplishments. As we all know, sometimes despite admirable effort we can fall short of our goals. Teach your children to re-set a goal and keep going. Invite them to discuss what they’ve learned through the process. Reward and acknowledge their effort and their accomplishments with a favorite family activity or outing, and let them know you support them no matter what. Children with behavioral and learning differences often experience self-esteem issues and can benefit from their parents' constant support. The new year is a great time to let children know your support is unwavering!
All of us at Brain Balance Achievement Centers hope 2014 brings success and opportunity for your family.
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