6 Ways to Help Your Child With ADHD Keep Up With Household Chores


Household chores help your children learn responsibility, gain independence and develop life skills that they’ll need in the future. But they’re not always enjoyable activities, so it’s not uncommon for your child to procrastinate on their chores or try to get out of them completely. If your child has ADHD, it can be even harder to get them to complete their chores around the house due to them being distracted or mismanaging their time.

A research study showed that more than 90% of parents of children with ADHD believe that their child’s ADHD symptoms impact their ability to effectively complete household chores. If your child is struggling to complete their chores on a regular basis, there are a few things that you can do to help them cross things off the list. 

We’ll talk about several ways that you can help your child keep up with household chores. We’ll also discuss how ADHD can impact these tasks.

6 things you can do to help your child with ADHD complete their chores

It can be frustrating when your child doesn’t carry out their household chores. However, when they have ADHD, it’s important to acknowledge how the symptoms can impact the tasks around the house. You want to determine the best strategies to work with them, not just get angry. By figuring out what works best for them, they’ll not only complete their household chores, but also develop helpful life skills in the process.

Here are a few ways to help your child with ADHD keep up with household chores:

  • Label everything — Most household chores center on picking up clutter and putting things in their rightful place. Since ADHD impacts a child’s ability to stay organized and remember where things properly go, it can be helpful to have as many labels as possible to reduce the overwhelm of a cleaning task. This can mean everything from labeling clear containers for their seasonal clothes to helping them create a labeled desk system for their classwork. 
  • Remind them of the end goal — While we usually hear that it’s all about the journey, not the destination, that’s rarely the case with chores. It can be helpful for your child to think about the positives that will come from completing a chore. For example, if they pick their toys off the ground, they’re less likely to fall and get hurt. If they take out the trash, there won’t be a gross smell in the kitchen. You can also remind them how good it will feel to gain that sense of accomplishment after a chore.
  • Use timers — For lengthy chores, such as mowing the lawn or cleaning a room, a timer can be used to let your child know how much longer they have until they can take a break. This breaks up big tasks to make them less overwhelming and helps them stay focused, knowing that a break is coming. It can also be used to time how long they have on leisure activities, such as watching TV, before they have to start or continue a chore. That way they can prepare themselves for a task that requires focus.
  • Set up a reward system — Incentives go a long way. For many children, rewards are often an effective way to encourage them to complete a task on their chore chart. By telling them that they can watch their favorite show after cleaning their room or giving them an allowance after completing their do-to list, they’ll be more motivated to complete the task in a timely and efficient manner. It teaches them responsibility while also learning about the value of privileges that are earned, not expected.
  • Make it fun — All ages find chores quite dull and boring. But if you find ways to make a chore more enjoyable, your child with ADHD is less likely to get distracted by other options. You can keep them engaged in a task by playing music as they clean or make it a game, like, “How fast can you put away the dishes?” Make sure the tactic works for the age group. While an older child will likely respond better to listening to their favorite band while folding their laundry, a younger child is more likely to be excited about a game.
  • Keep it consistent — ADHD can have a significant impact on the ability to follow a routine. While it can be difficult for a child with ADHD to follow a consistent chore schedule, giving them the same chores every week will give them a better idea of how long they will take to finish. This gives them an accurate perception of the time requirement, which is a challenge for those with the disorder. It should feel like a sustainable routine that will eventually become natural to them by knowing what to expect in terms of time and effort.


Why your child with ADHD may have difficulty completing their chores

ADHD can impact a person’s ability to carry out many everyday tasks in a timely and effective manner, including things like putting away clean laundry and unloading the dishes. A child with ADHD may have trouble keeping up with their household chores for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Distractions
  • Inability to assess time requirement for a chore 
  • Lack of organization
  • Trouble following instructions
  • Forgetting what they have to do in the first place


Chores on their own teach children many valuable skills to help them become productive adults with a good work ethic. They also improve the Executive Function skills that can be affected by ADHD, such as:

  • Time management 
  • Focus
  • Planning
  • Prioritization 


Beyond BookSmart can help your child improve the Executive Function skills needed to complete their chores

With the right motivation, organizational tools and time management strategies, you can help your child cross things off their chores list while improving their Executive Function skills that will help them years down the line. Executive Function skills are life management skills that we all need in order to be effective in planning, initiating and achieving goals at home, in school and in the workplace.

You are not alone and neither is your child. While it may seem frustrating for you when the chores aren’t completed when you want, or to the quality that you expect, it’s essential to figure out what works for them. While ADHD poses challenges for everyday tasks, your child has to know that you’re on their side and want to help by changing how they go about their chores. It’s important to not just get angry and expect them to fix it overnight.

Executive Function skills are trainable and coachable with time and the right tools. At Beyond BookSmart, our Executive Function coaching can help kindergarten-age children through college-aged young adults stay focused, motivated and engaged for everything from schoolwork to household chores.

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