Quite a while ago I posted about a checklist I’d made for my son for his morning routine. This is an update, re-exploration of that topic.
My son is 11. He is the most wonderful, empathetic, smart, and sensitive kid you will ever meet. But, he’s on his own planet much of the time. This is hard for me because his flavor of ADHD is so different from mine. I am over sensitive to my environment. I notice everything. As a kid I may not have cared to address what I noticed because it seemed like too much effort, but I knew it was there. I struggle with gett my 11 year old to even notice.
So, a few years ago, I made him a checklist and printed it on bright yellow paper and posted it next to the door in his room. I worked for a few weeks and then faded into his background. I know that ADHDers tend to do a new thing while it is the “bright, shiny object” and then tune it out. I know that visual reminders need to be refreshed often to work for ADHDers. Yet, somehow I expected that the posted checklist would work indefinitely. Or maybe I just wanted it to.
Needless to say, it did not work forever. Not even close. He didn’t slide back to square one but much of the progress was lost. I guess it wasn’t super high on my list to follow up and enough of the progress was retained. Then the zombie apocalypse happened and we’re all stuck in the house together, and I have more on my plate than ever. And having to chase my son around to do pretty basic stuff like clearing his plate after meals was really grinding my gears.
And before you ask, no, reminding, yelling, threatening to take away morning TV, etc. didn’t work. And, what’s worse, I think my being up his tail pipe all the time was negatively affecting our relationship. So I took my own advice and updated and reprinted the checklist, this time on bright pink paper. And, I added a list for meal times.
Surprise! He immediately responded to the list and did the things more or less successfully for about four day… Then his intensity started to slip. Hopefully I won’t have to make a new list every four days. But if I have to change things up a bit every few weeks until the behaviors come automatically for him… I guess I’m willing. It’s better than being frustrated and making him upset and still not getting results.
Standard Disclaimer: In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts muh, if at all. Please excuse typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.