Back to school can be a stressful time for most kids, but if you have a child with ADHD it can be even more stressful. With careful planning and practical strategies, this time of year can be well managed, even for those families dealing with ADHD and other neuro-behavioral disorders. Check back often as we update the Brain Balance blog with real world, practical advice for you and your family, and please consider sharing this series with those who struggle when it's time to go back to school!
Today's post will focus on setting goals and expectations BEFORE the school year even begins. Dr. Robert Melillo, an internationally known chiropractic neurologist and creator of the Brain Balance Program®, offers the following tips and strategies from his book Reconnected Kids for families dealing with ADHD and other neuro-behavioral disorders:
Ask your child specific questions to help with goal setting for the year.
- What grade does the child want to get in each subject? If your child takes part in goal setting, he or she will feel more inclined to stay focused on the plan and accomplish the goal. It may be beneficial to agree on a small reward once goals are reached, like a special family activity or night out with friends.
- In what extra curricular activities would your child like to participate? Deciding ahead of time in which after school activities your child can take part will diffuse any confusion or tension once school begins. Depending on your child's needs, you may need to set limits on how many activities are allowed or let your child choose between two or three approved activities.
- Does your child have social goals? Let you child know that it's okay to try new activities and potentially expand their circle of friends. Children may find their niche in a new activity or with a new group of children.
As your child answers these questions, a clear picture of what is important to him or her will begin to emerge. Help your child create an action plan for accomplishing their goals based on these answers. Write down the plan so you and your child can review their goals together throughout the school year.
Once you and your child have set real, actionable goals for the new school year, it's important to give them guidelines to help them achieve their goals. Our next post will focus on setting rules and boundaries for kids to set them up for success and lower their anxiety about the new year. Don't forget to share these tips with friends who also may struggle with the challenges of back to school time, and if you have tried and true ways of helping your ADHD child transition back to school, please share them below in our comment section. Want to know more about how the Brain Balance Program® can help your child succeed? Contact us today!