The ADD End of the School Year Funk

I don’t know about your ADDer, but around this time every year my guy is completely ready for school to be over.  It seems like it takes him the first half of the year to settle into a good routine and get everything figured out.  We have 1-3 months of that “sweet spot,” around Jan-March, until what I like to call the “ADD end of school year funk” kicks into gear.  By May he will be itching to hear that final bell ring! The next two months will be a roller coaster ride of emotions mixed with smiles, laughs, anger, frustration, outbursts and lots of digging in his heels. Most of these emotions will revolve around school and homework, but it definitely seeps into other areas.  For now, I just have to buckle my seat belt, focus on the destination and get through this emotional roller coaster ride. So what do I do?  Well, some days I am the shining example of patience.  I pause, take a deep breath, remind myself what is going on with him and respond with such profound wisdom I should be nominated for mother of the year!  Then there are the days that my mother of the year trophy gets a little tarnished.  I get irritated, maybe respond in haste without taking that deep breath. And then…there are those days when my mother of year trophy would be yanked from my hands never to be seen again.  Yes, we all have those days, don’t we? If you are experiencing the same thing at your house, here are some tried and true things that have worked in the past to get us through till the end of the school year.
  • Stay right there beside him during HW time (or at least in the general area).  Even though I’m ready to have a break from all this too, I have to focus on the end in sight.
  • Be diligent about checking his grades, because this is the time of year they will slip
  • Get creative with HW.  The other night he had several worksheets to do and he was not in the mood.  I asked him how long he thought it would take to complete one.  We set the timer for 10 min. knowing that when the time was up and the worksheet was complete, he could have a 5 minute break (we set the timer for this too).  Sometimes he takes every single break (which is fine), but that night he chose to keep going until he had completed them all. (Mother of the Year trophy was sparkling that night.)
  • Know when you need to walk away for a bit.  Sometimes we just know we can’t take much more, right?  If he is being extra grumpy or argumentative, or it’s just been a long day, I either take a break or get my trophy snatched away.  One night last week he was grumpy and I was too.  I just looked at him and calmly said, “Carlton, you are being really mean right now, so I am going to go upstairs for a little bit.  You are on your own.”  And guess what???  The world didn’t come to an end.
  • Let him experience natural consequences.  We have a HW detention system at our school (which I love by the way).  If a student doesn’t turn in their HW they go to detention after school to complete it.  I’m pretty sure Carlton was there three days last week.  And again, the world didn’t come to an end.
Different things work for different kids and just because it has worked in the past with your ADDer, don’t expect it to work the same way again.  We constantly have to tweak things to keep their attention.  Do you have any tips that work for your student?  If so, please share!  Just know you are not alone, your student is not alone, and we can make it to the final bell!

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