As we step into the New Year, it’s a time of setting resolutions, not just for ourselves but for our
children as well. For parents of children with ADHD, this period offers a unique opportunity to
guide their kids toward personal growth and positive change, embracing their strengths and
helping them navigate ADHD-related challenges.
Setting Achievable Goals for Children with ADHD
Crafting resolutions for children with ADHD requires a compassionate and structured approach.
Here are steps to help your child set and achieve realistic New Year’s goals:
- Reflect on Past Achievements and Challenges: Discuss with your child their
successes and areas of difficulty. This conversation lays the groundwork for goal setting.
- Create Specific and Measurable Goals: Help your child define clear, achievable goals.
For example, “read for 15 minutes before bed” rather than “read more.”
- Ensure Realistic and Attainable Objectives: Set challenging yet achievable goals,
avoiding overly ambitious targets to prevent frustration.
- Align Goals with Interests: Choose goals that spark your child’s interest, making them
- Establish a Clear Timeline: Set specific timelines for each goal to help your child
understand the timeframe and track progress.
- Adapt Goals as Needed: Be open to adjusting the goals to suit your child’s changing
needs or circumstances.
10 ADHD-Friendly Resolution Ideas
Now that you have strategies to set this New Years, it’s time to write out goals that can be both
fun and beneficial for children with ADHD:
- Complete a small organizational task daily.
- Set aside specific times for homework and relaxation.
- Practice daily mindfulness or short meditation.
- Engage in regular physical activities like short walks or playful exercises.
- Dedicate time each week for reading or an engaging educational activity.
- Explore creative hobbies like drawing, building models, or simple crafts.
- Introduce healthy eating habits with fun, nutritious snacks.
- Encourage regular, meaningful interactions with family and friends.
- Involve them in simple financial learning activities like saving small amounts.
- Participate in community service or group activities to develop social skills.
Coping with Setbacks
When children with ADHD encounter setbacks in achieving their goals, it’s important to guide
them through these moments with understanding and patience. Here are some expanded
- Normalize Setbacks: Explain to your child that setbacks are a normal part of learning
and growth, that it is not failure.
- Identify and Discuss Obstacles: Sit down with your child to identify what might hinder
their progress. Is it a matter of focus, interest, or external distractions?
- Develop Problem-Solving Skills: Work together to find creative solutions or alternative
approaches to overcome these obstacles.
- Offer Consistent Support and Encouragement: Your steady support is crucial.
Celebrate their efforts, not just outcomes, to foster resilience.
- Involve Professionals When Needed: Don’t hesitate to seek advice from educators or
therapists specializing in ADHD.
In addressing setbacks, it’s crucial to recognize that children with ADHD face diverse challenges
beyond focus, interest, or external distractions. These include impulsivity, which can lead to
abrupt decisions; emotional dysregulation, causing frustration or overwhelm; inconsistent
performance affecting steady progress; difficulties in executive functioning like organizing and
planning tasks; and time management issues.
Understanding these obstacles is key in guiding and supporting children through their goalachieving journey.
Strategies for Monitoring Your Progress
Effectively monitoring progress can motivate children with ADHD and help them see the value of
their efforts. Here are some tips to enhance this process:
- Create a Personalized Progress Chart: Design a fun and visually appealing progress
chart that resonates with your child’s interests.
- Set Smaller, Intermediate Goals: Breaking down large goals into smaller milestones
can make progress more tangible and less overwhelming.
- Regularly Review Goals Together: Schedule a weekly or monthly ‘goal review’ session
to discuss progress, challenges, and any adjustments needed.
- Use Technology to Your Advantage: Utilize apps or digital tools that are child-friendly
and designed to track progress in an engaging way.
- Encourage Self-Monitoring Skills: Teach your child to self-monitor by reflecting on
their day or week, noting their achievements and where they need support
Remember that setting New Year’s resolutions with your child is a journey of growth and
learning. It’s about celebrating each step, no matter how small, and understanding that progress
is not always linear.
We encourage you to sit down with your child and set new, exciting goals for the year ahead.
Use the strategies outlined here to make the process enjoyable and rewarding.
And remember, The Learning Lab is here to support you and your child every step of the way.
Let’s make this year a memorable one full of achievements and positive growth.