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How I Help My ADHD Kids Clean Without Big Tears

I remember as a child that my room was always the talk of the house, jokes were made and I was the butt end of it for having a messy room. I would go in and clean, yet 3 hours later it looked worse than when I started. I felt like I couldn't get anywhere I was was just a slob, which was hard on my self esteem. The school talked about dyslexia and ADHD to my mom but it was brushed off like it's not a big deal, that was the norm back then and I don't Jude or blame a soul.

As I got older and started a family of my own, I saw the same traits in my kids as my childhood. I decided I wanted their experience different than mine and this is what I changed:

  1. Having a keep Safe Box

There are things that I wanted to keep so I could remember it again. Out of sight and out of mind is very true for ADHD and it can cause anxiety with material items. They hold a memory that we don't want to forget. So I started a box that my daughter can put anything in she want to keep (besides food). When she wants to fit more, she has to decide what she's ready to let go of to help her keep more items. This helps her decide what she wants and what she is ready to let go of. Saves tears between parent and child while teaching them how to sort though things on their own.

2. Make it fun

I know that sometimes as a parent life can be exhausting. Making everything fun can be exhausting if you are struggling finding the joy in it. The game I play is a challenge I enjoy and they enjoy. I find a catagory (like towels, shirts or a toy type) for them that's small to pick up. I give a time and say " I bet you can get all the towels picked up in 5 minutes." They see 5 towels and know they will get it done sooner so they take on my challenge. I set the google timer for 5 minutes and walk out (as I walk out I set my own timer for 5 minutes, cause I'll forget and not come back which defeats my challenge). I hear the timer and come back, it's done and they are beaming from ear to ear. They not only got it done, but they were done EARLY! We move to the next and eventually they shorten the time between tasks (I bet it will only take me 2 minutes to do that!) and the room is cleaned in 30 minutes instead of an all day process with tears and hurt feelings.

3. Bins to throw toys

We sort toys by size and have lots of bins with lids to put toys in. The need to have the toys sorted in types is my OCD, they just want to play with them. I have learned that as long as they are in a bin with a lid, I'm happy. We also rotate bins. I'll set a bin of toys away for a few months and then bring it out when I have a busy day, they go crazy over the "new toys" and I get quiet time to work.

4. Friday drawer day

We have made Fridays to be the day we organize closets and drawers. Once a week we organize the thing that gets destroyed the most, where the clothings goes. We bought folding devices that make it more fun and we do one space at a time. Timers are always nice so the brain deems it import to stay on task. This helps so during the week I'm not on them about how the drawers or closet looks. Only day is Friday that we do that, or laundry day.

5. Laundry Day

As the clothing goes out of the dryer, they go into a 3 bin basket. One has tops, one bottoms and one other. That way when they get to the room they are not as overwhelming and already sorted. My kids then do a section at a time of folding and putting away, again timers are amazing! Timmers can be used for motivation or stress, choose how you set them and your intention.

I hope these tips help you see other ways of helping your kid with ADHD and getting a clean room. Having an organized space around you helps with emotional regulation, self esteem and so much more. I get it's a struggle with those having an overactive mind that gets easily distracted, which is why I started sharing my tips. Hope this helps bring contention down in your home as it did for me. Life should be enjoyed, get out and start living it on a daily!

Playful Hearts

Natural Wellness Company

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