ADHD and Managing Stress Tip – Shopping

This tip is for all of those shopping trips that happen this time of year. Before you even leave the house, make your list.  Just like you have your kids make the list for Santa, you make your list for the mall.

Plan to do short spurts of shopping, leave the marathon shopping to the people who can really manage it. It makes a big difference when you have your energy, your plan and your focus when you are shopping.

By being focused, you know what you are buying. You don’t overspend and you’re sure to take some time to consider whether or not you really want to spend the money on a certain item.

If you are making a family event of it and taking your children with you, make sure that you set up a plan with them that includes the statement. “When we are finished with shopping, you will get to choose between A and B”. That could be McDonalds and the frozen yogurt place, it could be between a 99 cent toy and a small book, something that you feel comfortable with that will help your children to refocus with a reminder. The reminder will be “Remember, we are going to shop for one hour and then take a break. We are going to shop for another hour and take a break. Then we will go and get that reward for you”.

Better to go with rewards than consequences. Many parents will talk about saying to their kids “You better behave when we are in the mall or you’re not going to get anything”. Or “You’re not going to get anything from Santa”. It doesn’t work. A lot of children with ADHD are already feeling negative, their self-esteem is down and what they want to have is a positive. Praise them for sticking with you and keep those shopping trips as short as possible.

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett
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Author: Empowering Youth with ADHD