Parenting a girl with ADHD is a challenge. One of the biggest challenges with ADHD girls is their difficulty in focusing during school or homework time. If you cannot focus on school, you do not do as well. In our family, we have found that certain steps work better to help girls with ADHD focus than others.
The Best Ways to Help Girls with ADHD Focus
These tips work to keep our ADHD girls focused and on task. We have found the greatest success in implementing these tips for helping a girl with ADHD focus.
7 Tips for Helping Girls with ADHD Focus During School
Follow along with these tips to help your daughter with ADHD focus on school and homework.
Of all the ways to help girls with ADHD focus, the most effective method for my ADHD daughter was to remove as many distractions as possible.
A lot of ADHD blogs I’ve seen recommend giving an item for kids to play with during lessons, but that is detrimental to our success.
I’ve found that the fewer things she has to distract her from what she is supposed to be doing the better our lessons go.
I think it might have something to do with how she hates to be bored.
If the only way to cure boredom is to do her homework, then she’ll do her school without as much conflict (note I said “as much” and not “all” 😀 ).
Engage Her Interests
Most girls with ADHD are perfectly willing to do something that interests them for hours. Parents don’t get to control what is covered in school, but you can ask your daughter’s teachers to allow her to select reading assignments on topics that most interest her. Right now, my middle school girl has found that math is her thing, so she is currently doing extra math tutoring with her math teacher.
My seven-year-old struggles with reading, but she loves the Piggie and Gerald books and she’s had a lot more reading progress since those books were introduced.
When helping with homework, I often find it useful to replace the words or scenarios in math problems to something that my daughters are interested in.
My seven-year-old is also obsessed with Harry Potter, so she is much more likely to want to solve a math challenge that Harry Potter has than a math challenge that a random kid is facing.
Keep Lessons Short
Long lessons are torture to a child with ADHD. Don’t torture your daughter. Keep lessons short, when you can. Younger kids should work in about 10-minute or less spurts. Older kids can handle 30 minutes or more at a time.
Include One-on-One Time
Self-focus is difficult for a girl with ADHD. Girls with ADHD can learn to self-motivate and self-focus (which is one of the biggest advantages to homeschooling a child with ADHD), but it takes time.
The more time you spend directly involved with each subject and individual assignment, the less chance there will be for distraction. My kids excel with one-on-one teaching time, which is one of the main ways we help girls with ADHD focus.
When my eldest daughter was formally evaluated by a psychologist, she told us the best thing we could do for her was to spend most of our time focusing on the positive aspects of ADHD.
This advice has really helped cut down on the number of rough days that we face. We try to praise our girls and offer rewards for effort rather than achievement. This has helped encourage our girls to make efforts on her own to conquer her symptoms of ADHD.
Encourage Activity Before Lessons
A study from 2008 found that children with ADHD were able to focus better on lessons if they first spent time outdoors. It is unclear whether it is simply any form of activity before lessons that helps, or if there is something specific to outdoor time that helps children focus better.
Regardless of the reason, letting your ADHD daughter run around for a few minutes before homework will help them focus better on seatwork.
Try having your daughter run around the house three times before homework, or you can try backyard races or jumping games. If you are also active, you just might find that your mood improves, too!
Show Progress Visually
My ADHD daughter will work hard to accomplish a goal she can see. She prefers visible, tangible rewards.
For example, this summer, although she hates reading, she is reading 10 books so she can earn a Girl Scouts reading patch. We track her progress on a chalkboard to record how many books she has read, which helps her stay motivated to finish.
Positive rewards are one of the most effective methods I’ve found for getting her to work hard to focus on school.
What strategies do you use with your ADHD girls to help them focus?