"The number one rule of having ADHD", I announced to the girl, "is never leave anything for 'later'".
She in the 4th grade now and next year will be her first year of increased expectations regarding homework, organization, remembering to cart a computer back and forth between school and home and -
Hold on a second I'm starting to feel like a mommy-blogger, let me just reassert some jackassery for my own sanity: Motherfucker! Cocksucker! Fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck!
Alright, so she's going to be in the 5th grade. And to illustrate the degree of challenge this may present for her, allow me to illustrate an hilarious episode from our family life, which occurred just last night. Sonny had been talking for weeks about needing to get the kids on a regular chores schedule, and I was all for it. Last night, the chore list was made and the work began. Everyone got an age appropriate task or two. Youngest boy, the kindergartener, gets to feed the lizard (since he's the one who asked for a lizard) and clean up his dirty laundry. Second grader actually loves to clean the bathroom so his daily task is wiping down the bathroom sinks and counters each night...and of course cleaning up his own dirty laundry (they're big on laundry hitting the floor, so while this seems like it should be a given, I'm sure you parent-readers know what I'm saying when I say...it's not). Almost 5th grader is cleaning the dishes (and yes...cleaning up her laundry off the floor!).
She's washed dishes with Sonny before so he's showed her the process and he even reviewed the process with her before she was set loose with them. She gets to work on the dishes, apparently finishes them in a reasonable amount of time, comes out to watch some TV. I go into the kitchen to get a glass of water and...there are the dishes. She had washed them and placed them in the other side of the sink for rinsing, but never rinsed them. The soap was mostly dried on now. Oopsie.
I called Sonny out to see them, because I kept giggling and since he had started the task with her I thought it would be nice for him to finish out the instruction. He called her out to the kitchen and asked her to look carefully and tell him what was amiss in the sink. "OHHHHHHHHHHHHH" she said. Ha...
She rinsed them off and all is now well.
But I'm just picturing how much fun next school year is going to be. A rule was made this year that she would not go to horseback riding lessons anymore if she could not remember her own riding gear...it's worked surprisingly well - though predictably, she often gets out to the car before realizing she doesn't have them and then runs back in for the bag.
And that's how the declaration came about...generally Sonny will remind her to gather her things the night before. After a few minutes, if she hasn't motived...I give her a kind reminder...and when her response to that was "I will" I said "The number one rule of having ADHD is never leave anything for later". And then...I allowed her to fail. And she did (we all do sometimes, of course).
My goal is to create a reasonable amount of reminders...deliver them kindly and clearly...and then yes...allow her to fail if that's what it takes.
She needs the structure, but sometimes people also need consequences, in order to create their own structure, and define their own boundaries between them and the world.