Parenting a child with ADHD can be especially tough during the summer. “Kids with ADHD blossom when they have a structured schedule, and summertime is notorious for having a lack of scheduling,” according to Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, a psychotherapist and author of Making the Grade with ADD: A Student’s Guide to Succeeding in College with Attention Deficit Disorder.
Psychotherapist and ADHD expert Terry Matlen, ACSW, agreed. Because most parents can’t mimic the tight structure of school, kids often get bored — and may get into trouble, she said. That’s because when kids with ADHD get bored, they seek out stimuli, which can be anything from picking fights with their families to playing with fire, she said.
Some parents discontinue their child’s medication during the summer, which poses another challenge, said Matlen, also author of Survival Tips for Women with ADHD. “That can create a situation where the child has a hard time with self-control, mood regulation [and] social behaviors.”
But while the summer can be challenging, you can absolutely overcome these obstacles and enjoy a fun break. Below, Sarkis and Matlen offer their excellent suggestions.
1. Create structure.
Again, structure keeps your child focused. According to Sarkis, you can create structure by engaging your child in activities at the same time each day or meeting on the same day each week.