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Time Management Is a Family Affair

November 17th, 2010 by Markus Lefkovits

A Family Affair

I once worked with a family whose 11-year old boy hated doing homework …This particular boy had ADHD and was on medication. I helped him plan for and track his assignments.

 In spite of this help, he continued to perform poorly. Slowly, I discovered that both parents do a fair amount of traveling, have a number of social engagements every week and did little if any supervision of his homework time.

 Once the cancellations and substitution of sessions began, I discovered each due to some social activity that received priority in the eyes of the parents.

I learned while there was no designated homework time, there were constant arguments about chores not being completed (or even attempted). But social activities, a trip to Paris, and recreational sport schedules were never altered, or any event ever cancelled to accommodate for missing homework assignments or poor grades.

 

The parents could not organize themselves.
Yet that was the first step required to build a predictable environment at home. 

 Afraid of canceling social activities, they felt “it might harm his self esteem”.  I explained that their son’s self esteem was already in the basement in spite of all the social fun he was having. At this boy’s age, self esteem comes from a feeling of master and accomplishment in areas where you can be compared fairly to your peers. And unless you are world-class material in sports or the arts, these accomplishments are insufficient.  We have seen way too many artists and sports figures suffer from severe depression. 

 In this scenario, my first client is really the PARENTS.   
They needed help in organizing their own lives before they could model good behavior for their kids.

 They needed to learn what to do to change their behavior from being late, not paying statements for extended periods, over booking themselves, and losing important documents, to a world where they honored their obligations and followed through on their responsibilities.

 For fear of being viewed as “mean parents”,
they were enabling their childrento become equally incompetent as themselves
in managing their time, commitments and social obligations.

 

Be ready for a partnership! 
The process is a partnership between the parents, me and the child. 

When coaching a child with learning disabilities or ADHD, I make it very clear that we are forming a PARTNERSHIP between parents, child and myself.

  1. Everyone must sign a release for the other (A requirement prior to initiating the first session)
  2. Our first session involves the parents ONLY. We use a large monthly calendar and log all planned activities, appointments, work schedule, family dinners, etc.
  3. The  following week, the child adds his or her activities to the calendar with both parents present.
    This where realistic time management and activity management gets started!

You can do this on your own but the learning process flows more smoothly and is implemented more efficiently with a professional coaching the family. 

Contact me if you’d like help getting started with developing a Time and Activity Management learning process in your home:  206.429.7100 or markus@shineyourstrengths.com 

Talk with you soon!  

Markus

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ADHD Coaching, Counseling and Educational Therapy for Children, Adolescents and Teens in Seattle, Washington
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