If I don’t have check lists of things I need to get done, I am lost!
I have often described to people what it feels like to have ADHD by telling them this:
Imagine you are standing in the middle of a dome-shaped room that is completely wall-papered with hundreds of televisions all tuned to different stations. You are so overwhelmed with trying to figure out which screen to focus on that you have to just walk out of the room.
This is what it feel like to me to walk into a kitchen with dirty dishes and clutter on the counters. I have to intentionally force myself to walk to the sink and just focus on one section of the task at a time.
As an adult, this is a tedious, frustrating thing to deal with. For kids, a lot of times it causes some serious attitude. The best thing I can do for a child in this situation is to give them a checklist.
- Stack all of the dishes close to the sink or dishwasher
- Take care of everything else that is on the counters
- Wash off the counters
- Load the dishwasher
- Clean dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher
- Dry and put away the dishes you just washed
- Sweep the floor
- Steam or mop the floor
For those of you reading this that do not suffer from ADHD, this may seem utterly ridiculous. But the fact remains that doing this for your child that does suffer with it will relieve more stress and chaos in your home that you can ever imagine. Exacting their focus on one task at a time will make a world of difference.
Check lists also offer encouragement in the form of accomplishment. Just being able to check something off the list and having a visual representation of progress can go a long way. Even if it sounds silly to you, give it a try. You may be surprised at the difference it can make.