Kids are easily motivated when an activity involves something they love. (Video games, anyone?)
But chores? Summer reading programs? Homework? Good behavior when bored? Motivation disappears faster than a freezer full of ice cream bars on a hot summer day.
How can you keep your kid focused on chores, homework, summer reading programs, and more when they're digging in their heels with all of their pint-sized energy?
ADHD and Motivation
If your child has ADHD, motivation becomes even harder. It's difficult for any kid to do something tedious or boring. But a kid with ADHD lives only in the now. Connecting a future outcome to the present task is hard. Your child may want a clean room so he can easily find his toys, but the overwhelming process of cleaning the room is what's facing him now. The future isn't connected to the present.
Dr. Russell Barkley explains it this way:
ADHD disrupts a person’s ability to manage their own behavior and act with future consequences in mind. That’s why ADHD kids are at their worst when tasks must be done that have no immediate payoff or reinforcement, but are necessary because the future outcome is important.
Find the Right Motivation – 24 Rewards That Cost You Nothing
If you can find the right reward, you can help your child keep his eye on the prize, connecting the future reward with the current task. And lucky for you – rewards don't have to cost a penny! Try one of these:
- A campout in the family room with Mom and Dad (movie and s'mores included!)
- A movie night with the family, and your child gets to pick the movie
- A play date or sleepover with a favorite friend
- A night when your child gets to stay up late
- 20 extra minutes of one-on-one time with Mom or Dad at bedtime (Play a game, read a book, play with toys -- just let your child choose the activity.)
- Screen time
- A homemade treat
- Let your child choose what the family will eat for dinner
- A picnic
- A backyard campout
- A family bike ride or hike
- A backwards day: dinner for breakfast, and breakfast for dinner
- A family game night
- Let your child wear your jewelry for the day
- A family outing to a free museum, concert, or festival
- An art project with Mom or Dad
- An outside family game (hide and seek in the dark, soccer, relay races, obstacle courses)
- A trip to the local fire station to see the fire trucks and meet the firefighters (call ahead to find a good time to go)
- Let your child pick the music in the car for a week
- A chore-free day
- Eat lunch at a working parent's place of work
- Let your child wear Mom's makeup or put temporary dye in their hair
- A trip to the park or library
- A trip to a beach, lake, or river
Brili makes it easy to keep track of behavior and rewards with a routine system that awards stars each time your child completes her tasks. It's better than a rewards chart because it manages itself. No more nagging. No more pleading. Just lots and lots of accomplishing!