Monthly Archives: September 2013

Back-to-school: Focused and calm

Guest post by Jennifer Evans, a licensed mental health counselor at DCF who specializes in child trauma.

Young Boy LearningNow that school has begun and the children are settled into their routine, you might be noticing that a child suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) might still be having difficulty when they get home.

Here are some good tips for helping you child stay focused and calm while at home (they may even be helpful for all children!).

  • Create a place for homework. Creating a secluded space helps your child stay focused.  This place should be free of clutter and distractions.  Try finding a quiet corner in the home away from where the other family members could distract the child. It is important to stock this area with everything your child will need for homework projects and nothing more.  Even the smallest things, like needing a snack or drink will send the child into an escape from focusing.
  • Use rewards and structure to keep your child motivated. Create a calendar allotting the amount of time needed for your child to finish homework and the activities to do after homework is complete.  Go over the homework with your child and make sure there are no careless errors that can easily occur withchildren diagnosed with ADHD.  Encourage them to “slow down” and re-read the directions for clear understanding and enhancing focus.
  • Use a point system or stickers to encourage positive behaviors over the school year. If the child has had trouble in school in the past, creating a point system to reward the child upon advances can help encourage good studying and behavior. Create a chart with the subjects in school on it; give stickers or check marks to indicate when the child has reached an obtainable goal. Whether getting A’s in a certain subject, or completing homework without a distraction, obtainable rewards are important for the child to buy-in and build confidence. The important thing is to make these goals realistic and reflect your child’s needs.  Goal setting should start off simple and work towards the greater goals.  The chart should be placed in the study area for your child to continue to reference and encourage positive behaviors.

For more information regarding study tips for your child checkout these websites.