This brilliant concept, called “aggregation of marginal gains” was utilized by Dave Brailsford, who took a historically good but un-winning U.K. cycling team and made many small improvements, which contributed to their win of the Tour De France just three years later.
For the U.K. cycling team, this meant 1% improvement in a whole slew of things from aerodynamics, nutrition, healthcare, the list goes on and on, but the sum of all those incremental changes contributed to the Tour de France win. Great athletes, with incremental changes and improvements in their training regime became winning athletes.
Some families suffer from chronic disorganization and benefit from outside assistance to get to a base level of functionality. Marginal gains would be helpful but not enough for those families. For many of us, who have average organizational struggles, we can identify a list of problem areas that are causing us to be late, unproductive, stressed, scattered or anxious. Tiny changes in each of these problem areas will contribute to marginal gains, thus more productivity, less stress, and lower anxiety in the long run.
The holidays are about traditions. Some holiday traditions are generic and some are unique to the family, some are old and some new. At some point, the job of passing on these traditions shifts from the grandparents, to parents of young children. It’s not discussed, it just happens that way. Family traditions need repetition in order to carry on, much like good habits need repetition to stick. In our half Jewish family, we do a great job with the traditions surrounding Christmas, but we are lousy about lighting the menorah at Hanukkah. This year we only remembered the first day, shame on us. Actually, shame on my husband and me, because we need to be the ones to carry out these traditions so that they become ingrained in our children’s experience of the holidays. It’s that whole lead by example thing. Something else the kids won’t continue, if we don’t, and that is to properly thank their relatives for gifts received.
The day our children make their first scribbles with a crayon we begin collecting and storing their art and other keepsakes. Beginning in preschool the volume of children’s crafts, art projects and first handwriting efforts sent home increases dramatically. By elementary school, your child’s keepsakes can start to become overwhelming.
We recommend storing children’s keepsakes in a clear plastic file box. The Container Store has a great extra-large file tote box. Label the tote box with your child’s name and create a file folder for each grade, starting with preschool. These files will give you a year by year record for your child making it easy to pick out what you would like to include in a scrapbook.
The key to getting out of the house on time starts the night before. Since kids with ADHD may have sleep issues, a solid sleep routine can help your child be successful with their morning routine.
Begin the sleep ritual early. Turn off any electronic devices well ahead of bedtime. This can be challenging if your student is up late studying, but aim for an early bedtime as much as you can. A sleep app like SleepyTime: Bedtime Calculator can help your child determine what time you they need to get to bed based on when they need to wake up. Taking a hot shower before bed can help the body get into sleep mode. Some kids with ADHD like to settle down with a book on tape or on Audible, but if that is too stimulating a white noise machine or app can help your child tune out noise and settle into sleep easier. If possible, try to avoid evening sports or lessons as these may overstimulate your child, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep. Try different strategies until you come up with a sleep routine that works well for your child.
Would you like your children to make their own school lunches? A school lunch packing station makes it super easy for your child to take on this responsibility. Start with designating space in your pantry and fridge. A pantry shelf that is eye level for your children is the best choice. Store your child’s lunch box and water bottle near the lunch packing station. In a small labeled bin store your child’s favorite school snacks. Next to that store a labeled bin with napkins, forks/spoons, plastic storage containers and baggies.
We adore our pets and care for them like any other family member. Our pooches and kitties can acquire quite a bit of stuff between toys, grooming supplies, treats and even clothing. Like anything, pet supplies can get lost around the house pretty easily. Here are five ideas on how to organize your pet supplies easily – saving you time you can use to play with your fuzzy buddy.
August is here and that means the beginning of the school year is just around the corner. You are probably already submitting school forms, buying school supplies and clothes. Help your student get a head start toward being able to own their responsibilities with these invaluable tips from organizing consultant, coach and ADHD specialist Leslie Josel.
Leslie notes that children are capable of managing responsibilities depending on their “brain” age, not necessarily on their “chronological” age. Therefore, we cannot expect that at age X all children will be capable of mastering the same tasks. Leslie Josel works with the parents and with the children who struggle with learning how to own their responsibilities. Leslie guides the parents toward raising children who are problem solvers not just direction followers.
At professional organizing company Simplify Experts, we attract one type of client over all others – busy families. You know who you are. You and/or your spouse may be juggling long hours at work, volunteering at your child’s school, attending your children’s many weekday and weekend activities, managing home upkeep, and perhaps even handling elder care. You rarely have time for yourself. Over time, clutter in your home builds and builds. You can’t find things. Sometimes, things fall through the cracks – bills don’t get paid on time, tax returns are late, appointments are missed. Despite your best efforts you never seem to catch up. You can no longer host events at your house. The state of your home increases your level of anxiety.
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.