Twelve-year old Kayla was more than ready to clear the clutter out her bedroom. She is entering 6th grade in a few days and she no longer plays with majority of the toys that clutter her bedroom. These days she is into playing guitar and reading, not playing with Disney princess castles and Polly Pockets. Over three hours, we emptied every drawer, pulled out every bin and sorted through every book shelf and basket. Kayla took the lead
My son (who has ADHD) didn’t want to go to the end of school beach party with all his friends. The last day of school assembly and all the end-of-year excitement just wore him out. HE JUST WANTED TO GO HOME. I was torn. He would not see many of his friends next year because they were attending different middle schools. I wanted to enjoy the festivities with the other 5th grade moms. He’ll have fun once we get there, I thought to myself. But to the contrary, my son had been more irritable and anxious lately. He’d had trouble falling asleep. He was argumentative and he picked fights more than usual.
We did not attend the beach party that day. Transitions are tough for kids with ADHD. The end of the school year, moving up to middle school are both huge transitions. My son knew he’d had enough and I am proud of his self-awareness. We went home. A couple of hours later that day, he was bored (of course!) and asked for a playdate (with someone who had gone to the party and was still there). Sigh.
Parenting ADHD kids is tricky terrain in the best of times.
Celebrate the end of the school year and take advantage of this transition period to purge unwanted items, donate old toys, and make your child’s bedroom a welcoming uncluttered environment this summer. Talk to your child and explain that as a reward for completing a successful school year, you would like to help make their bedroom a really nice place for them this summer.
All moms know that as soon as everyone gets used to the family routine or schedule, the schedule changes. For families with school aged children, perhaps the most abrupt change comes with the end of the school year. The school year hums along one minute, busy as usual, and then all of the sudden it’s June! The last few weeks of the school year are a flurry of projects, exams, end of year parties, and graduations, and then abruptly the school year is over, and the children are home with nothing to do. I can just about count the minutes before someone in our house says, “I’m bored…”
If you didn’t spend the month of February planning vacations, summer camps and enrichment activities for your children’s summer don’t despair! There is time yet to establish a summer routine that will work for you and your children.
Some families start the summer by brainstorming a list of activities, both indoor and outdoor. They post the list in a public spot in their house. Periodically, one member of the family chooses an activity they would like to do. Maybe your son wants to go bowling and chooses that as his special outing one week. Maybe your daughter wants to go to the driving range and hit some golf balls. Maybe you really want to take your children to the art museum or on a hike. Maybe your toddler would like everyone to go to the zoo. Everyone can have a turn to do something they like and hopefully you’ll have more buy-in when it’s your turn to pick.
Keeping a summer readiness bag ready for day trips or even a quick outing to the park can save time when trying to get out the door. Backpack or beach bag should include an extra bottle of sunscreen, hats, mini first aid kit (Neosporin, band-aids, wet wipes etc…) and extra diapers. Buy a case of bottled waters to keep in the trunk of the car for emergencies, also a waterproof picnic style blanket and extra towels can be stored in the trunk for impromptu trip to the beach. Keeping an extra set of clothes in the car can be handy if children’s clothes get wet or dirty while having fun!