Time management. I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear that phrase I break out in a sweat. Maybe it’s because I’m convinced that I’ve forgotten something. Maybe it's just because I always seem to have a rough time with my relationship with time. ADHD is like that!
Lucky for us, guest expert Judith Kolberg has some secrets for mastering time management for families with ADHD.
As Kolberg says, transitioning can be very hard for complex kids, so alarms are often the best way to help kids keep on moving. “That alarm can be like a bridge to wrap up so that you move onto the next thing.”
Kolberg’s Time Zones
Kolberg calls these periods between alarms “time zones.” She explains: “We teach kids that there are these different kinds of voices. There’s also different kinds of time… when you’re in a certain kind of time zone, you behave one way…” There are a few time zones that are particularly important for kids to learn.
Says Kolberg, this is special time. "That’s a time when you put your devices down and you try to interact more with mom and dad and your brothers and sisters, and try not to get quite as distracted." We may not be able to separate our kids from their screens entirely, but we can get close by sharing the importance of this time zone.
This time zone can be difficult for a variety of reasons. You have to maintain behaviors such as remaining focused and being prepared; but you also have to deal with prioritization. "In the world of endless information," paper research could go on for hours. It may seem like all this information is a good thing, but it can be a major time suck.
Kolberg explains that this type of time management is very important for kids to learn. "Teach them early: you’re never going to cover everything." This can be especially helpful for kids with ADHD, whose thirst for knowledge may keep them researching a little too long.
Listen to this insightful interview for more tips on time management for ADHD families.