How to motivate your ADHD child to get things done

This is the second part in my 2 part series how to help your child succeed in school. Please note since I do not know you or your situation personally, please take these ideas and adapt them to your unique situation.

The new school year is around the corner.  Before you know it, your child will be back in school. The new school year is a time for new opportunities and change. As a parent of a child with ADHD you are the best person to help your child succeed in this coming school year. However the best ADHD  success ideas in the world will be useless if your ADHD child will not be motivated to carry them through.

IF your child has ADHD they will find boring tasks especially difficult to carry out to completion. This is one source of your ADHD child’s lateness. There is more info about this and more tools in my book here.

One way to motivate your child is to create a race against the clock. Try to get those boring tasks done within a certain time frame. This works well because when your child starts to move their body they activate the chemical dopamine in their brain. Part of the ADHD challenge is an imbalance of this vital chemical. Dopamine is the motivator hormone.

The timetimer to motivate your child

Use a timer to motivate yourself and your child to get ready by a certain time.  When your child starts to move faster they activate dopamine in their brain. They will feel more alert and positive.

I use the timetimer. If you live in Europe the distributing agent is Robo toys. Here are the contact  details. and

 I use these amazing timers for my family. I have one upstairs hanging next to the tooth brushing station. I have one in the kitchen and one in the playroom. I like the 12 inch the best as it is so big. The 8 inch is great value. I take the 3 inch pocket timetimer with me to client sessions.

The three phases of time

The timetimer  is far better than digital timers because it shows the three phases of time, past, present and future. Your client often has a difficult time assessing time. The timetimer helps you to ground yourself in space and time.  There is a hook to hang up the timer, so it is visible in the entire room. There is a loud buzzer that sounds to announce that time is up. You can choose to turn off the buzzer if you so wish. The buzzer on the 12 inch timer is so loud, I can hear it two flights up. This is so important because one of the common challenges that your clients face is that they get easily distracted  and move onto other tasks. The loud buzzer pulls you back to the current task.

Teach your child prospective thinking tools

Your ADHD child lives on two phases, “now” and “not now.” The present, “the now” exists, the future, “the not now” does not. Your ADHD child will find it very difficult to visualise what is coming next,  especially  a little further into the future such as in a week’s time.  This is called prospective thinking, and is a vital tool for school and life success.

If your child finds it difficult to visualise the future this will make it very hard to plan for the future. One reason why your ADHD child gets into trouble (read not done homework etc) is because they  fail to plan because they fail to see the future and the future consequences of their actions or inactions.

You can teach your child this skill little by little. Start a week before school. Informally ask your child what the time is, then ask them what subject they think they will be learning this time next week. Turn this into a fun game. By doing this you will sew the seeds to help your child think about and visualise the future.

I have created a youtube playlist for mums,  to empower you with ADHD friendly tools. Find out more ADHD tools  to help your child succeed in school here. 

Read more tools in the first part of this 2 part series here.

More ADHD focused tips in my latest book which will open your mind to many aspects of ADHD that you didn’t know about. Knowledge is power. Check it out here.

Get the support you need via my FB group for mums.

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