Over the years of working with my daughters, I’ve found that there is a good way to try and motivate a girl with ADHD, and there are a bunch of really bad ways to motivate that same girl. Today, I’m sharing the ADHD motivation tips for girls that work best in our family of ADHD girls.
So many tears.
Did my daughter’s pet goldfish just die?
Nope, it’s just homework time.
Every night it’s a battle to get through the homework. My mother used to call this experience as fun as pulling teeth.
With a child who has ADHD, homework time isn’t just hard, it’s torture. Parenting a daughter with ADHD is a struggle for both the parent and the girl.
But all is not lost.
I have ADHD, and so do my daughters. I come from a family with at least 7 people who have ADHD. The struggle is not only recognized, it’s the only thing I know.
If you have a daughter with ADHD, use these ADHD motivation tips to keep her on track and avoid power struggles.
ADHD MOTIVATION TIPS FOR KIDS STRUGGLING WITH HOMEWORK
For the girl with ADHD, anything they don’t currently want to do is The Worst Thing Ever. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to teach them a new math problem or telling them to tie their shoe. There will be equal hatred for any unwanted activity.
Most girls with ADHD that I know don’t respond well to negative consequences. Many children will consider the consequences worth it to get out of doing what they didn’t want to do.
This list takes a different approach to ADHD motivation and teaching ADHD and offers practical, positive encouragement and motivation tips so you can help your ADHD child learn without power struggles.
If you need more help with ADHD motivation, read about anxiety and ADHD, ADHD symptoms in girls, how to help a girl with ADHD succeed, and fidget tools for kids with ADHD.
ADHD Motivation Tips that Work for Anxiety and ADHD
Use these ADHD motivation tips to relieve power struggles and facilitate learning throughout the year. These tips work just as well at home as in the classroom!
Let Your Daughter Be in Control
Sometimes I think to have ADHD is to be a control freak. Have you ever tried to get a girl with ADHD to do something they don’t want to do? You might as well try to pull a donkey through a doorway.
Pull her aside when they are not emotionally charged (you would do this on a weekend, perhaps, or before the school day starts). Talk about the goals of the week/month/year/whatever and discuss how the child wants to arrange their schedule to fit everything in.
I find that when I discuss the plan with my daughters and they come to the realization that they will have to devote a certain amount of time to each daily task, they are much less likely to fight me when assignment time comes.
Create a Reward Tracking System
My daughter, and most ADHD girls I’ve met, love working toward a goal.
However, if the goal is too far off, or you can’t see the goal or progress, the child will get sidetracked and probably forget what she is working toward.
This is where I like to use visual progress trackers.
When I was a child, I LOVED these sorts of trackers and I would work extra hard to reach the goal sooner. This is probably why Sing Spell Read and Write worked so well as a reading program for my siblings because they not only could see their progress on the race track, but they also got a small prize at the end of each milestone.
Any sort of daily checklist to reach a reward at the end of the school day, or a slightly longer-term progress tracker to earn a big reward (my kids like trips to the frozen yogurt shop) will make a huge difference to the ADHD girl.
The ADHD girl wants to know WHY she/he is doing something they don’t want to do, and if there is a constant reminder of the goal they are working toward, it will eliminate much of the teacher/student struggle.
Here are some of my favorite reward trackers for girls with ADHD:
- This hands-on to-do list tracker
- This paint-themed reward chart
- This customizable reward chart
- This super-simple reward chart
Engage in One-on-One Time
I don’t know if all children with ADHD are like this, but my daughters prefer me to sit with her when they are doing their homework.
When I’m not with them, they get distracted, make sloppy mistakes, and take longer to do their lessons. The one-on-one time helps eliminate much of this problem.
Make a Checklist
My kids and I and I thrive on checklists. We love seeing everything we have to do and getting it done in a methodical way. We like wipe-away daily to-do lists.
There are a lot of printable to-do lists that you can find, but I actually made our own customized planner that works perfectly for girls with ADHD. I designed the planners for exactly what my ADHD girls need to stay on track.
A Word on Timers
Some parents love using timers to keep kids on track. This might work with some kids, but for our kids, it creates high anxiety. If you find your kids reacting poorly to timers, I suggest using other motivational tools.
Brain Break Cards for Girls with ADHD
Kids are easily overwhelmed with work if they have ADHD. One simple way to help a kid with ADHD reset is to implement brain breaks. These 60-second activities help reset a girl’s brain and get her out of the flight or fight mode. You can use these at home or in the classroom!