Well, we have officially started a new school year and is it me, or did the summer months just fly by? It feels to me like the summer vacation just started last month! Before we know it Christmas will be here.
The beginning of a new school year is hard for any parent with school let alone parents of children with ADHD. In the first month of school parents have pictures, new schedules, fundraisers start and that's just some of the things we have going on. Having an ADHD child includes meeting new teachers, going to IEP/Support meetings, organizing your child with the new schedule, and the fights over homework. This can be a very frustrating time for the parents as well as the child. Most of the time, the same things that are stressful for us are also for your child.
In my experience, this is one of the most stressful and frustrating times during the school year for your ADHD child. And though I know it can be very hard at times, we have to remember this. He/she is trying to get back into a bedtime and morning routine, sitting for longer periods, organizing, remembering/completing/turning in homework/assignments, and controlling his/her behaviors more. They are doing all this after a long vacation and more relaxed three months away from all these demands.
To make this time the least frustrating as possible I have found an easy way to help both you and your child. Organizing your child to fit his/her needs is an important key tool to help relieve a lot of unnecessary arguments or stress. Try organizing your son/daughters binder folders ( I suggest using plastic folders) by their schedule, put their folders in their binder by subject (having a separate folder for each subject) and in the order they have each class (you can even get Post It flags/page markers for him/her to move back a folder each class to remember which folder is next). For more tips to help please read the article Success in School.
Another great tool I found to help me as a parent is to email your child's teachers. I email my sons teachers and support teacher(s) at the beginning of each school year after I get his schedule. In these emails I introduce myself, let them know anything I feel important about my son (they don't always know what you may want them to), let them know his strengths and weaknesses, ask for a book to keep here for homework, and ask that they please keep in contact and keep me updated on his progress, assignments that are late or long, any issues they may run into. This helps me out by knowing what is going on before he gets way behind (which is usually when they'll notify you), by Dillon knowing I talk to his teachers it keeps him from making excuses, gives the teachers more insight, and so much more!
Oh and I mentioned that I ask for books for at home. This was a wonderful idea that was suggested to me by one of Dill's teachers! By having a book for subjects that he will have homework in, it keeps him from forgetting his book at school or at home. No matter which place he is he has his books.
I hope some of this will help you and your ADHD child's start of the school year run more smoothly. Oh, I forgot the most important thing you need to remember!! You HAVE to take time for yourself too! By taking time to yourself you will be more relaxed and less stressed. You as the parent are important too. Your needs are a priority too. So, anytime your feeling ready to explode, and we all have those moments, take a half hour and read a book, take a bath, watch a show, or anything you may find fun and relaxing. It is amazing what a little "you time" can do for you!!
Don't worry, your not alone. We will get through another school year together! Thanks for reading and feel free to comment :)
Also, please check out the Back to School products at the Child ADHD Info Store