OMG do you smell that? what is it? Eww…. who left a rotten apple core in the couch again!
If you’re a mom like me, especially if you have ADHD, raising teens with additional needs, or not, the struggle is real. The smell, the attitude, the mastering eye roll, the voice frequency… Where do you all start? I’ve discovered some hacks that I wished I had known sooner…
1. Become Tech Savvy! It’s a modern tech world! Learning how to control all the technology in your home, will give you the master key over your teen, even if they have additional needs as long as you are still respecting their privacy to a certain extent and not overusing your power! The how: is to learn how to filter out every device in your home, so one loses privileges while everyone else doesn’t. Block what you need for the moment but remember to turn back on before they ask while they are still being respectful, to maintain positive parenting. They don’t like overpraise but these little things go a long way.
2. Trust & Respect Privacy! As they begin the teen year they will start to not need or want you as much. Yes, this is hard, especially if they have additional needs and you feel they are not mature enough to be on their own. Trust is a hard one to build, but it’s required. If they have ADHD and ODD like mine giving them full control over their bedroom, even keeping the door locked from the outside with a key, will let them loosen control on other aspects of their life. So change that doorknob, even better let them do it!
3. Getting Teens To Clean! Cleaning is no one’s favorite activity. Let alone knowing where to start. Yeah, It’s their mess and they should pick up right away, but let’s face it, we do the same at times and let thing’s pile up. We all get those days every now and then and let me tell you, so do they. What I found with my teens is if we all clean together it works much better then having a chore list. Yes, visual schedules and routine are great, wonderful, and helpful but doing this group cleaning every couple of days becomes routine, and hey if one finds she is better at cleaning the bathroom then doing the dishes, so be it! If one is better at tidying the living room, awesome. Forcing them to do something specific, especially with ODD and ADHD where they feel uncomfortable or don’t know where to start or whatever the reasons are, will just end in a nagging war!
4. Clogged Toilet! yup, I went there, it happens, it’s nasty to say the least. But if you pour in a bucket of really hot water (if the water is not going down take off the top lid and hold the flap open so the water goes down). Then pour an entire bottle of dish soap into the toilet bowl, she needs that extra lubrication every now and then when things get tight #winkyface wait a good 10 minutes then add another bucket of really hot water, it should flush real easy!
5. Picky Eaters? The answer is tinfoil!!! If you hate the clean up of making multiple dishes because one hates onions etc… I use a large casserole dish and line it with tinfoil and use the tinfoil to make dividers so one side can be shepherds pie, meatloaf in the middle, and mac&cheese at the end all in one dish. Same as a crockpot. use the crockpot liners and tinfoil as a separation! Snack and meal prep for a few days is also extremely helpful. for example if you only need half a block of grated cheese grate the whole block and store leftovers in an airtight ziplock bag! Same for veggies, peel the whole bag of carrots, once you start why stop, keep going, store the rest for another day.
6. Does your teen clean the shower? You know those bath crayons, you buy your toddler as a distraction while you wash their hair? Guess what? Put some in the shower randomly and see your teen melt his or her emotions away while they scribble as they wash and with a dab of body soap it wipes right off! Brilliant!
7. Label Literally EVERYTHING! Can’t complain they don’t know where it is or where it goes if it has a labeled home! I label with a marker of things I buy regularly and two-sided tape for items that may change, it’s easy to peel off and replace. Or you can get fancy and get those little velcro circles with those plastic name tags, you can get at the dollar store, and place your label in the name tags and just change them out when needed!!
8. Plan and prepare for everything, including back up plans, and label them on all calendars so there are no “I didn’t know” situations. I keep our calendars by the kitchen table so we can discuss plans and events daily during meal times. *Side note for peaceful meals let the SPD child eat nearby with a TV table so he/she can participate in the social aspect without the sensory overload explosion*
9. Dirty Laundry! Put out multiple laundry hampers so there is no missing. We have one in each bathroom, hallway, and washroom (I do the same with trash cans). I mean if you are like me I don’t separate anything. if it’s pure white I’ll put it aside as I’m loading the washer until there’s enough for a full load with bleach.
10. Water Resistant Cement Glue! That stuff can fix everything! Even if it’s something that gets wet! I even use it to seal our sensory bottles!!!
They sure keep us on our toes!
I am also going to start a gaming channel for mom’s in June, starting off with how to play and lose yourself in Sims 4, for us who need a mini escape from our hectic reality.