Struggling with transitions is something that seems to
affect most kids with ADHD. Actually, it affects adults
too if we think about it. Our family went camping last
week. We had great weather the whole time until the last
night. Yep, it started to rain in August! I normally love
our Pacific Northwest rain, but this sudden unexpected
transition really threw me. The whining and complaining
wasn't coming from the kids that night! I recovered
enough and our equipment is drying nicely in the garage

***Why transitions are hard***

Transitioning from one activity to another is very
for most kids and for some it can trigger meltdowns and
power struggles. Leaving the activity they are engaged in
now to begin another task, no matter how pleasurable is
extremely hard to do. If the new activity is less
pleasurable, then just forget it. Meltdown city!

Here are a few tips to help:

1. Daily overviews - give your child an overview of the
basic schedule for the day. If you have a highly visual
child then make this a visual schedule with pictures.
This is especially helpful for major changes like when school starts.

2. Warnings - As a transition time is nearing give
warnings that it's almost time to transition. For
to transition from the playground to home for lunch.
out a 10 minute warning, a 5 minute warning and a 1
warning. Be sure to praise your child for coming when
is up.

3. Using a visual timer can also be helpful for older
children who don't like "being nagged." Check out this
website for more information:

They have table clocks as well as watches. Pretty cool.
regular kitchen timer will work too though if this is out
your price range.

4. Specific Praise - Make an effort to praise your
efforts toward transitioning. "Wow, look how many blocks
you picked up! High five buddy!" This will go a long way
toward energizing your child's efforts no matter how
they may seem at first.

5. Re-evaluate - While having a structured day is
important, having enough downtime is also important.
Flexibility towards your child's needs in the moment can
make a big difference in your child's behavior and your
sanity. For example, if you notice that afternoons are
stressful, then maybe lowering the number of activities
the afternoon will help. Figuring out what the triggers
can really make a big difference.

Transitions become easier with time and practice, but
children continue to struggle long after their peers and
even younger siblings. If your child really struggles
these no matter what you try to do, it might be time to
think about getting some help.

Author's Bio: 

Karen DeBolt is a Parent Coach and Family Therapist specializing in families affected by ADHD. She has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and three master teachers, her three children. Visit her website
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