Dr. Carrie McMillin is a naturopathic physician that specializes in treating adults and children with ADHD and anxiety.
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The abrupt transition to online school last year was less than ideal and has left families dreading virtual classes in the fall. So in order to support a successful year, I have created a Remote Learning Survival Guide, with some simple steps for parents of ADHD kids. Be sure to check out Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, and Step 5 before diving into the rest of the guide!
Step 6: Bust out the reward charts
Of course you are very familiar with this step. I feel confident that every parent reading this blog post has used a sticker chart, ticket exchange, or some type of reward system for their child at some point.
I'm guessing that it worked well for a while and then gradually your kiddo lost interest, or you ran out of ideas for rewards, and eventually you abandoned it altogether.
That's totally understandable.
But I'm here to tell you that this remote learning situation is the perfect time to bring one back on board. If you'd like to change it up, here are a few simple options to try:
Earned screen time
Whatever system you are using, there are a few important things to remember:
Make the steps toward a reward small but attainable
Make the reward something that can be achieved within a week or less
Rewards don't have to be physical items
Most likely you will find that excitement and therefore motivation about earning rewards fizzles out over time. When you notice the reward system isn't serving its purpose, switch it up! You may even be able to rotate through the ones that you use. Keeping things interesting is crucial to the ADHD brain, and shiny new objects are our friends.
It can also be a good idea to get your kiddo's input on what type of system and rewards they would be most excited about. Give them some examples of the types of prizes you would be willing to offer and see how they respond. Getting them excited about earning things will help to make sure your plan is a success!
You've got this!