I have a confession to make: My house is covered in post-it notes. 

Post-it notes everywhere… “Brush Your Teeth” on the wall above the toilet. “Remember Your Lunch” on the fridge door. “Are Your Shoes Put Away?” on the door exiting the mud room.

The brighter and more noticeable the colors, the better – The “Cape Town” collection is my personal favorite color scheme…

My son and I use them… well…  for pretty much everything. And once you read this, you’re going to want to get on board with our little practice, too! 

When you are the parent of a child with ADHD, one of your primary jobs is to “externalize” your child’s executive functions as much as necessary. 

What the heck does that mean? ADHD makes it difficult for your child to recall things, manage impulses when stressed, keep track of time, remember multiple directions, or follow a certain order of tasks. These skills are called executive functions. 

Since our kids’ brains aren’t reliable in these skills yet on their own, the very best way to help them is to mimic what should be happening inside their brains, outside of their brains, right when they need it

This can look like post-it-note reminders right where your kids are going to see it for routine tasks like I described above. {We find more uses for post-it-notes than I care to admit.} 

But it doesn’t have to involve post-its. Externalizing executive function can include using visual timers like hour glasses; alarms on your child’s watch or phone; or recorded instructions for multi-step activities. 

The key to making sure they work to help prompt your child to behave in a desirable way is to place the reminders at the time they need to be used. Not too far in advance, or too late. So if you try a new type of reminder and it doesn’t work the first time, ask yourself whether you have the reminder placed correctly. 

Try externalizing your child’s executive function at home! If you come up with a solution you’d like to share with other parents, hop into the Facebook Group and tell us about it!