Summer is that time every kid looks forward to. It is the “light at end of the tunnel” of a long school year. It is a time to “let loose” and have a great time. For kids with ADHD this is a big change. The day to day structure goes away, the daily routine is gone.
In just a few days or weeks, this long anticipated break can become a potential nightmare for kids with ADHD. It becomes a time when these kids are going around whining and saying, “I’m bored.” They come in complaining about an argument with peers or they are tormenting their siblings.
With a little planning ahead these and many other events can be avoided. Kids with ADHD still need structure, although it can be more relaxed than during the school year. Use a calendar that shows upcoming activities. Make a collage of things they can do when there is no planned activity (like games, toys, books, etc) and tell them when they are bored they need to check it and select an activity and do it.
Plan intermittent structured activities such as day camp, vacation Bible school, various recreation programs (like tennislessons, swimming lessons, computer workshop or drama club and summer sports leagues) provided by schools, churches, and community recreation departments.
Think about summer camp. If decide this is a good idea, make sure the camp can handle ADHD kids and are willing to administer medications if your child takes them during the summer. Check out the list of Summer Camp Programs from CHADD which provide structure, fun and skill building. For other possible camp suggestions please visit the American Camp Association website.
Make this family fun time. When parents get home from work, devote a half hour or so to play time. Play around your home; go to a park or some other fun spot. Have a family game night or movie night. Enjoy a hobby together. Check out the Family Activities page from our main website for more suggestions.
No matter what the situation, you can make it enjoyable and productive for your ADHD child by thinking ahead and providing a little guidance and structure to curb impulsivity and teach them how to create their own fun time.