Ten Ways to Organize Your Children

By Eileen Bailey

ADD/ADHD often runs in families.  With several people in the household with ADD, there can be a great deal of confusion and disorganization.  These tips are meant to help you find simple ways to keep things running a little smoother.

1) Use a large kitchen calendar to help you organize all of the children’s activities.  Give each person a colored marker and have them write down events or activities.  You will know at a glance who needs to be where and what time they need to arrive.

2) Use clear plastic shoe holders in each child’s room.  Hang them over the back of their door or on a closet door.  They can place all the small toys and objects into the shoe holder.  Their room will stay neater and they will be able to find their items easier.

3) Set up a parent’s “in-box” and have your children put in party invitations, camp information, recitals, and any other information that you need to know. You will always be able to find the papers you need.

4) Talk to your children about priorities and scheduling.  Let them know they will need to talk with you before they commit to an activity.  Discuss with them the family schedules and help them to understand why an activity is or is not feasible for you.

5) Create charts.  Wherever the difficulty may be, setting up a chart might help. If they are having a hard time keeping their room clean or if they consistently “forget” to complete their chores, charts can help.  Set up a list of responsibilities and break each down into manageable parts.  This will help them focus and stay on track.

6) Purchase a hanging sweater holder for the closet. It should have at least five slots in it. Have them place an outfit to wear in each slot.  In the mornings, they will only have to pull out an outfit to get dressed.  On wash day, they can fill up the slots again.  This works well during the school year when they are trying to get ready in a short amount of time.

7) Take a few minutes at night to prepare for the next day.  Whether your children are heading off to camp in the summer or school or staying at home, spending a few minutes each evening to get together items they may need the following day will help in the mornings.

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