View Full Version : Schedules--do they work or not?


elizadoo47
04-21-09, 04:11 PM
My teen D was just diagnosed, after all these years of puzzling behavior.

I told her that we are ALL going to work together on this, support her in any way we can.

She is on (trial) medication which seems to be working.

Now, the next step is structure and discipline--which she absolutely abhors.

She refuses ot stick to a schedule. This afternoon she very willingly made one up, but now, 3 hours later, she has changed her mind, she says it "bothers her", that the schedule doesn't work (or maybe, she's not working it?).

Any suggestions? EVERY night I try to get her to pick out her clothes, pack her backpack (she's always late to school) etc, but she just stalls and stalls, gets angry when I get on her case.

FinallyAnswered
04-21-09, 04:37 PM
she says it "bothers her", that the schedule doesn't work (or maybe, she's not working it?).

Any suggestions? EVERY night I try to get her to pick out her clothes, pack her backpack (she's always late to school) etc, but she just stalls and stalls, gets angry when I get on her case.


LOL...."it doesn't work". I'm sure you've asked her just what is the schedule supposed to do? There's no "maybe" there....she's not working it.

She needs to know that medication isn't the cure-all. The only thing it does is allow us to focus and concentrate better.....it's like putting gas in the car. Great! The car works...but it isn't going anywhere until we drive it.

She needs to make the effort to get out of those bad habits she's in. It's not easy for adults, and even harder for kids because they're asserting their new-found independence. Kids can be headstrong and defiant and sometimes that serves to blur the line between her condition and sheer defiance. Kids are also smart enough to use their diagnosis as an excuse to get out of doing things their parents tell them to do....so.....

I would suggest some tough love. Take something away that she really likes and force her hand. "You'll get this back after you pack your backpack and pick out your clothes".

Just one suggestion.....

Good luck....

hceuterpe
10-10-09, 04:07 PM
What I'm learning very fast as an adult, despite being diagnosed as a kid is someone with ADHD in general seems to develop bad habits easily, and it is extra hard to develop good habits.

I've also learned you don't break bad habits you gain if you're ADHD and put on medication. It does however, take less effort to correct those mistakes when you are on the meds.

To some extent, successful non-ADHD people all have schedules. If not schedules, they are called work deadlines. Otherwise, they are called appointments.

I guess you have to somehow convince her that treating ADHD is going to be harder than ignoring it, but she'll like the outcome if she does. And yes sometimes tough love is the only option you got. So you have to explain to her a routine is a good thing to have, and a daily schedule is necessary. You could do a little "carrot psychology" and say "honey the most successful people, have schedules. The most successful people have routines."

FrazzleDazzle
10-10-09, 04:20 PM
Yuk, the teen years.......Hugs.

You can try a whiteboard? If she just doesn't do well with a schedule, some of us don't as we get to things in our own time, maybe this will help her gain a big picture of what needs to be completed by the end of the day (or before she eats, goes out with friends, or you drive her to the mall.......you get the idea).

Or, if she has a cool phone see if there is a calendar or reminder or notes function that she can plug chores into.

And, with most ADHD, positive reinforcements work best rather than taking something away. That can make them bitter and even more resentful. Catch them doing something good.

You might also look into the Love&Logic materials. They have a great book (maybe a DVD too) on AHD, and some materials on teens. Some of their philosophies have been very helpful in my home.

lostranslation
10-10-09, 06:36 PM
My teen D was just diagnosed, after all these years of puzzling behavior.


I think this is key. Maybe instead of a full on schedule, start slowly. No one can change overnight. Is she in any kind of therapy? It might be easier for her to accept coaching from a professional.

stef
10-10-09, 08:43 PM
not diagnosed but at 41 I have to FORCE myself to follow routines, prepare things ahead of time etc. If someone told me to do this, I would resist and especially if I were a teenager it would be 10 times worse!

joklem
10-10-09, 09:28 PM
Second the two above posts. The more structure and discipline there was, the further down the spiral I went.

Waitingame
10-13-09, 05:48 PM
The wholly unexpected (from the ADD perspective, anyway) reward of having free time to do as you please might be one of the rewards of scheduling.

Is there any way to lead your daughter in this direction? Maybe try to strongly reinforce a schedule on a weekend morning so that it turns out (surprise!) she will have free time in the afternoon (and you can subversively plan some fun for that time, if you haven't completely alienated her by making her stick to a schedule all morning :)).

Good luck & kudos to you for wholeheartedly supporting your daughter during what is certainly a difficult time even before adding the diagnosis!

AddaptAbilities
10-16-09, 01:31 AM
She refuses ot stick to a schedule. This afternoon she very willingly made one up, but now, 3 hours later, she has changed her mind, she says it "bothers her", that the schedule doesn't work (or maybe, she's not working it?).

Any suggestions? EVERY night I try to get her to pick out her clothes, pack her backpack (she's always late to school) etc, but she just stalls and stalls, gets angry when I get on her case.

You might want to check out Julie Morgenstern's book Organizing From The Inside Out for Teenagers. I've read the original version for adults, and it changed my life. What makes her approach so effective, and why I imagine it would be perfect for a teenager, is that she doesn't preach or dictate. She starts off by asking you to take an inventory of what IS working in your life -- not only does this provide valuable insight into how your mind works, but it starts you off in a place of self-confidence. She then shows you how to create your own system that works with you. Believe me, I tried everything before I read her book for adults, it's pure gold.

Does your daughter know WHY she needs a schedule? If it's her own idea, or even if she understands why she's being asked to do it, she's much more likely to stick with it.

Good luck!

LisaJW
10-21-09, 03:02 PM
My teen D was just diagnosed, after all these years of puzzling behavior.

I told her that we are ALL going to work together on this, support her in any way we can.

She is on (trial) medication which seems to be working.

Now, the next step is structure and discipline--which she absolutely abhors.

She refuses ot stick to a schedule. This afternoon she very willingly made one up, but now, 3 hours later, she has changed her mind, she says it "bothers her", that the schedule doesn't work (or maybe, she's not working it?).

Any suggestions? EVERY night I try to get her to pick out her clothes, pack her backpack (she's always late to school) etc, but she just stalls and stalls, gets angry when I get on her case.

Well one thing is she needs to realize that medication isn't a cure. Second and this helped me during my teen years is let her find a constructive activity that encourages structure and discipline that SHE loves. And what I mean by her needing to enjoy or love doing the activity is that it has to be something that she will hyperfocus on. Once you and her have found that activity/ hobby then use it as a reward for good behaviors.

For me I had difficulty in school and was failing almost all of my classes then once I found my passion I went on to be an "A" student.

But remember, the only way my suggestion may help is you have to keep your end of the deal and follow through.

wsmac
10-22-09, 02:31 AM
For me it goes like this...

First off I have finally recognized this idea about stimulation and how certain types provoke certain reactions out of me. I still don't always catch things as they are happening, but I am getting better at it.

I've been evaluating the things I 'get interested' in and work hard at, and the other things I don't, and how my mind and body feel when I come to the point of acting or not.

Secondly, it takes me a while to establish a routine.
First off I have to amend or totally lose the current routine... which is a major task in itself!
Next I have to find ways to remind myself of the new things in my routine/schedule.

If it's just a one-off list of things to do I have to successfully place that at the forefront of my mind and keep it there or keep bringing it back to mind often enough that I will remember on time each task on the list.

Making lists is a poor way to schedule my activities.
That piece of paper is too easy to slip into a pocket, be buried under whatever is in my hands that I "...just need to sit down for now", or be left behind when I move to another location/leave the house.

I am learning to use both my iPod Touch and my cellphone to help keep notes/schedules close at hand, and to remind me something is coming up.

When I can remember to stack stuff at the front door, I am better at not leaving important things behind.

It's all about training myself.. trouble is... I am doing it all alone. That's not so easy, but I have no other choice... I live alone.

I don't know if any of this is of any help to you... I hope some of it may be.

I agree that part of it may just be plain old attitude, but remembering how I was as a teenager (which is truthfully not too different than how I am now), I was constantly beating myself up over my failures. The thing is... I was allowed to 'beat myself up', but when other people brought up my shortcomings... I got really defensive.
I still do.
I believe it is partly due to my constant, life-long frustration with being misunderstood.
With that, it was all too easy to be defiant and even lash back, even if it cost me.

I do hope things improve for your daughter.

wsmac
10-22-09, 02:42 AM
Looking back at the posts here I am surprised at how many people made this statement, "She needs to realize that the medication is not a cure", or similar comments.

There was nothing said by the OP about her daughter claiming she only needed the medication.
I think it's too bad you jumped to that conclusion.
This sort of thing is what makes people defensive and unwilling to listen even when good advice is given.

Yes, it is true that we all need to realize our meds cannot do everything for us, but perhaps her daughter understands this.
Perhaps her daughter is like my own teen daughter, who when we first told her we wanted to get her evaluated for ADD said, "I don't want to... I don't want to be different!". This was just as she turned a teenager. She's a very intelligent girl, but still, for whatever reason, she didn't want to even know if she had ADD.

I think too many people leap onto this notion that teenagers are rebellious just because they are teenagers.
Sure, there is something to be said about seeking independence as a teen, but I hear so much of this c*r*a*p to the point I think every adult just automatically believes teens are always a problem.

Guess what? This general idea is picked up by teens. It's hard enough to 'be different' let alone know that the whole adult population sees you as a trouble-maker, rebel, a defiant child not to be trusted. The adults set up the whole scenario... that's too bad.

I haven't taken that position with my daughter or any teen I know. I know what it's like to be marginalized because of some preconceived notion.. true or not.

Just a thought! ;D

annamarie
10-22-09, 03:54 AM
Does your daughter know WHY she needs a schedule? If it's her own idea, or even if she understands why she's being asked to do it, she's much more likely to stick with it.



This is so true! It's taken me almost 7 years to learn to use a schedule, and I struggle all the time with sticking to it.

It takes a long time. Time management skills don't come naturally, especially to those of us with ADHD :p

Don't give up though! It's so worth it. I can accomplish so much more now that I've developed good habits.

BohoButterfly
06-28-12, 06:01 AM
I know i am replying to another old post, and the op has most likely already found a plan that works, but i just wanted to share my thoughts on this, as i had the same struggles as a teenage girl, though i was never diagnosed.
I fought tooth and nail against any shedule or plan i didnt write myself, and lost interest in the ones i did. Here is my advice/what i would do if i could go bk and help myself:

Start off with a blank weekly timetable, with hourly blocks for active parts of the day.

Sit down with my 16yr old self(lol, weird thought!) and get her to identify things that she generally likes doing around the same time each day, and put them in a list.
Eg. Watch 6 o clock simpsons, talk to friend on phone after she gets home from soccer, have a cup of milo before bed, etc.

Then list everyday boring things that she generally does around the same time every day.
Eg. Have a shower, eat dinner, does a certain chore.

Then i would ask her to pick two things from her fun list to lock in a time for. (this may sound silly)
Eg. 6pm is always simpsons watching time. She goes to bed around 10 or 11, so she'll have her milo at 10pm and no later- don't force a bed time, it doesnt go down well- so even if she goes to bed at 11pm, she still has milo at ten.

Then get her to choose two boring things to lock in.
Eg. Have a shower at 7pm each week night, on bin night, she will take it out at 8pm.

Leave the rest blank, and spend a fortnight with only these four things scheduled. Having half being things she likes and half things she pretty much does already makes it easier to stick to, and she'll probs realise that this is a written representation of a routine she can already maintain! Lock in a task from both lists each week until you have done them all.
Then u can sit down and fill in the blanks! Eg. No set time for homework, but she's been getting it over with between simpsons and shower- lock it in!

Anyhoo, hope this is helpful to someone- its how i got myself into a routine! :)

xxBB