Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

ADD ADHD Parents and their Child’s Homework


A few parents have written me from time to time asking me what I did as a child to succeed with my homework. Because this question comes up quite a bit from concerned parents I thought I would put my two cents into the hat and if you decide to read this, remember this is from my experience and my opinions—ultimately what you decide is up to you.

Let’s start this off with the honest truth about me as a child with concern to homework. I hated it and when I could get out of it, I did. The most important thing, from my perspective and experience, for a parent to realize about ADD ADHD children is that most of them are experts in getting out of things. We spend more time coming up with detours, ways out and loop holes more than anything else. ADD ADHD children are some of the best tacticians in the world and they can negotiate just about anything. I say this because if you want the complete straight forward truth from an ADD ADHD child about his or her homework you might want to consider getting in direct contact with the teacher and working out a way that you, as the parent, receive the child’s homework assignment personally.



One of the things I hated most about homework is that it took up my play time and my friends always seemed to be able to finish their homework first and were outside playing, having fun while I was stuck inside not even nearly finished with the beginning. Oh, that made me mad and sad and made my homework all that more worthless to me. I think it is important that the child not perceive homework as punishment. Find ways that your child can still play with friends even if he takes a bit longer getting homework done. By the way—what’s in it for the child anyway—what’s in it for me? ADD ADHD children don’t believe in doing something for nothing or just simple appreciation. Telling a child that he or she is preparing for college can be meaningless simply because the ADD ADHD child has difficulty ‘seeing’ into the future or understanding what the future really means. Saying it’s for their own good or dangling carrots probably won’t get you too far either. ADDer’s are extremely insightful and perceptive, carrots only work for so long and if you want the child to continue the carrot needs to reach his or her mouth before long or you can write off the effect you were looking for.

The only time I did well with homework as a child is when I had a tutor or when my Mother sat with me and personally helped me. I never did well on my own, regardless of promises of rewards or what I would become as an adult. Some children might work well with the promise of rewards or even threats, but I didn’t.  However, I will say this, promises that became realities directly after I finished my homework did help me; however, be wary of this because although ADD ADHD children seem to have terrible short term memory, we remember promises not kept very keenly. It might not seem like much of a loss at the time, but ADD ADHD children are very sensitive and perceive things as directly correlating with something he or she did wrong—even if, in reality, they did the right thing.

Some parents have the opinion that promises and rewards for common things a child should do are ridiculous. Just remember that normal expectations of a normal child compared with that of an ADD ADHD child cannot and should not be the same.

Punishment does work for short term responses because of certain reasons I explain in my book, but the reality is it is short term and can create resentment and negative long term effects, even though it seems to get the direct results needed at the time of need.

It seems as though we Adults, who had ADD ADHD as a child grow out of it, but that’s not really true. We are capable of learning and understanding, it just takes us a little while for reality to dawn on us and therefore as we become older we tend to learn coping skills for ourselves and understand better what the future holds. We do carry many of our symptoms with us into adulthood, but we have a much better understanding of what matters and can work with that in a sensible manner or we can learn to. The expectations of an Adult person with ADD ADHD cannot and should not be the same as a child with ADD ADHD. There is a world of difference because we do indeed evolve too. I was a far more capable person with ADD in college and was able to complete homework assignments with my own free will, usually—I still had times when I simply didn’t do it or I procrastinated until it was overdue. 

I have collected a few links for you, which might be more helpful concerning homework:


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