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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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4.7 What Parents Can Do to Help with Time Management

Difficulty with adequately budgeting and managing time is certainly not unique to children or teens with ADHD. But for those with ADHD, time awareness and time management are often exceedingly difficult and problematic. Poor ability to measure and estimate time is characteristic of ADHD and executive function impairment (Lists 1.2, 1.5, 4.4).

Time Awareness

  • Practice time estimation with your child. Make a game out of predicting, timing, and checking your child's time estimates for various activities.
  • Have your child write start times and stop times on homework assignments for better awareness of how long it takes to do work; this is also good information to share with the teacher.
  • Cue your child with time reminders such as “You have fifteen minutes to get ready before we leave the house” and set the timer.

Tools, Schedules, and Supports

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  • Make sure your child knows how to tell time and read a nondigital (analog) clock.
  • Check that your child knows how to read calendars and schedules.
  • Make sure clocks in the home are accurate.
  • Watches or alarms can be set to vibrate and cue your child to be on task, be somewhere, call home, or take medication, for example. The WatchMinder (www.watchminder.com) is a good tool for school and can vibrate and alert your child silently in class with preprogrammed messages.
  • There are other beneficial electronic ...

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