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Last Minute Tips for a Happy Holiday

1. Release Some Energy on Christmas Eve

Let’s be honest, we’re all a little excited on Christmas Eve. Now combine that with being a kid and adhd, and you’ve got a lot of excitement. To help bring some calm and ensure that everyone gets to sleep, plan a more physical activity for Christmas Eve night. Instead of baking cookies or watching a Christmas movie, go for a bike ride around the neighborhood and sprinkle “reindeer food” along the grass. Or, grab your favorite holiday album and have a holiday dance off! Whatever makes your kids happy and sleepy.

2. Save Some Gifts for Later

Opening gifts can be overwhelming. All those bows, boxes, paper, and of course all of the new stuff! Instead of opening them all at once, try spreading it out throughout the day. This will make the experience less overwhelming for your child and can also be a good way to add small breaks in the day just for them.

3. Prepare for Company

Sit down with your child to discuss appropriate behavior while company is over. Whether your child gets excited or anxious when company comes over, consider talking to someone in your family ahead of time who would be willing to spend a few minutes with your child when they arrive to give your child the attention they need or to make them feel more comfortable.

4. Don’t Overbook

It’s nearly impossible to maintain your normal routine during the holidays, but avoiding too many commitments will help ensure better adjustments to this lapse in routine for your child. Don’t feel obligated to attend every event, gathering, or dinner. And if you can’t get everything in this week, considering moving some gatherings into January.

5. Don’t Forget to Offer Praise Along the Way

Celebrate small successes along the way. If your child sits through the entire family dinner, be sure to acknowledge that. If your child remembers to thank everyone for their gifts, let them know you’re proud. Whatever it may be, don’t forget to let your child know their on your “nice list”.


And if you start to feel overwhelmed, listen to this version of a Christmas Classic to remind yourself that everything doesn’t have to go perfectly.

Video from TotallyADD

Organizing with ADHD. The Homework Space!

Helping your child keep their homework space organized can greatly influence their time management skills, productivity, efficiency, and confidence in whatever they are working on. It is so easy to get disorganized, especially for kids with ADHD, and we all struggle with it at times. By teaching basic organizational skills and making them routine, you are building a foundation of success for your child at home, school, and as an adult in the workplace. The tips below are very basic and generally helpful. However, before trying any of these, we encourage you to reflect on a time when your child was able to organize something and they stuck with it. For example, maybe your son or daughter always keeps their room organized but just cant seem to keep their backpack organized. Reflect on some of things that made the organization of their room such a success and apply that to helping them organize their backpack.

When I say we all struggle with organization, I mean everyone. While writing these tips, I decided to go ahead and apply them to my own work space. Here is my desk pre-organization…..

Messy Desk








Getting organized can be overwhelming, so start out with eliminating clutter. Often times, eliminating clutter simply means putting things away (which we’ll get to), but it also means getting rid of any unnecessary items. For example, if your child is preparing for a science test, he will probably want to have paper, pens, and his science book handy. Having other subjects or unrelated items adds unnecessary clutter.

Clutter vs No Clutter






Have a designated place for everything and put them in their place when you’re not using them. Doing this helps create routine, prevents clutter, and ensures that you always know where to find things!

Putting Things Away







To Do listStart a to-do lists and keep it brief. To-do lists can help bring focus back to goals and the task at hand. By keeping it brief, your child is less likely to get frustrated and more likely to stay on task. If you want to take it a step further, add designated times to work on each item on the list.





Organize frequently. Once you have established a routine that works, keep it up! Set aside one day each week that to get organized. For example, to be sure your child is prepared for the week, sit down on Sunday nights and organize their homework space, backpack, and assignments to make sure everything is in order for the upcoming week.

Strategies for ADHD. Strategy Saturday: Respond, Don’t React.

In this episode of Strategy Saturday, we’re covering one of the simplest solutions (but also difficult at times) for when your child is frustrated, acting out, not listening to you etc.—Respond, Don’t React.


Strategy Saturdays are brought to you on behalf of SOAR’s Executive Director, John Willson. Each Saturday, John will take a couple of minutes to share some his favorite tips and strategies for adhd! We invite you to follow along and share any helpful tips that have worked for you and your family!