2302@2x.jpg

The ADHD Family • Living Tips from Our Listeners

We're continuing our exploration into ADHD and families and this week we're sharing a whole batch of tips from your peers on everything from alarm systems to meal planning!

Episode Hosts: ,

Subscribe to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you find your favorite podcasts!

Support The ADHD Podcast and get great perks by becoming a Patron • Learn More and Join Now!

Before we went on The ADHD Podcast annual July break, we posted a question to you: What do you do to keep your family running? Living with ADHD inside the complex organism that is your family, we wanted to know what kinds of systems you have in place to keep the trains on time as best you can, together.

ADHD Family Solutions

You answered! We grouped responses in four broad categories: Alarms, Planning, Cleaning, and Meal Planning, and today on the show we have a review! Some of live by alarms and use the snooze surgically. Some of you call out Getting Started with The Fly Lady and her shiny kitchen sink approach to contagious cleanliness. You shout out to Dana K. White from A Slob Comes Clean for her honest approach to organizing. You even give Pete a chance to shout out his new vacuum (it’s the Shark upright, FYI).

What we do know is that you all are getting it done with ADHD and your families, and that we all have a long path to walk to feel like we’re truly on top of things. So this week we raise a glass to all those strategies that help us feel like we’re moving just a little bit closer to the goal every day.


Episode Transcript

Brought to you by The ADHD Podcast Community on Patreon

Pete Wright: Hey everybody. Welcome to the show. Today we’ve got ADHD family tips from our listeners. We’ve got 19 tips across four different major categories, and we’re excited about all of them.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, Pete, it’s true. We have wonderful categories and topics that we’re going to be discussing from our listeners. And our last topic is one that I know for sure a lot of people struggle with, which is meal planning.

Pete Wright: You don’t want to miss any of these. They are from you back to you. I love these episodes. Stay tuned. The whole thing is great. Here’s the show.

Pete Wright: Welcome to episode two of season 23, Nikki Kinzer. Today we’re taking on listener tips. I love these listener tips episode. People responded.

Nikki Kinzer: They did.

Pete Wright: In mass.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: So, we’re talking about ADHD and families managing your family. And I guess living with ADHD, we started with Dr. Michelle Frank talking about the Gottman method and couples work. And now we’ve got ADHD family tips. You want to talk a little bit more about the series?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. As you said, we have family tips from our listeners today, which I’m really excited to talk about. We have an interview coming up with an ADHD mom. We also have somebody a little bit later coming in to talk about a book about mindfulness for teenagers, which I think will be fantastic. So, it’s great timing, I think, for us to emphasize on family and ADHD, going into the school year, going into a new season. So, I’m really looking forward to what we’ve got in the next few shows.

Pete Wright: It’s a big season and episode two of season 23. We are going to talk all about these family tips in a minute. But before we do that, head over to takecontroladhd.com, you can get to know us a little bit better. Listen to the show there on the website or subscribe to the mailing list. We’ll send you an email each time a new episode is released. Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook at Take Control ADHD. And we have this Patreon, if you’ve ever had the inkling that you like what we do, you like the subjects that we talk about, your life is somehow better in some small way, shape or form as a result of something you’ve learned here, or the topics that we’ve talked about with the guests that we’ve had on the show over the last 11 years, 10 years, 11 years, somewhere in there, we’ll get the date right, over 10 years, you should head over to patreon.com/theADHDpodcast and join the club.

Pete Wright: There are a couple of different tiers for you to join. And this season in particular, we’re going to do another podcast. Why would we do that? I don’t know why we would do that, but it’s coming. It’s so close. We have this goal that we’ve set for when we can frankly afford to do this, which is we just need a few more people who care about the show, who love the show, who want to join and subscribe to be a part of the show. And you’ll start getting a Patreon only podcast. It won’t be in any of the podcast directories. It is Patreon only. And I think it’s going to be called Pete Wright is Talking to Himself.

Nikki Kinzer: I like it.

Pete Wright: It’s because, as I’m planning for this show, the only thing I can think about is like all these things I want to talk about. It’s really just me giving myself advice.

Nikki Kinzer: I love it.

Pete Wright: And so that’s the kind of show. These are the things that maybe I don’t do, but in the spirit of do what I say and not what I do.

Nikki Kinzer: I’m going to start saying-

Pete Wright: Pete Wright is Talking to Himself.

Nikki Kinzer: Talking about it and doing it.

Pete Wright: I’m going to document the things that I need to do in my own life.

Nikki Kinzer: I love it.

Pete Wright: And we’re going to talk about technology and tools and processes and tips. And it is really designed to be very much a member focused show. So, you’re going to hear voices of people that you see in the Discord community. We’ve got some lined up already. And so I’m very excited to start production of Pete’s Talking to Himself. Patreon only ADHD podcast podcast.

Nikki Kinzer: I love it.

Pete Wright: This is so goofy. Visit patreon.com/theADHDpodcast to learn more. And this podcast will be going, what do we say? Is it going to all three tiers or just the top two tiers at deluxe and supreme.

Nikki Kinzer: Top two.

Pete Wright: I think it’s going to everybody. Top two? It’s going to deluxe and supreme, if you want this podcast, that’s the skinny. Let’s talk about tips.

Nikki Kinzer: What was the question that we put onto discord? We don’t have that on here, but I believe Melissa, Discord mom, had put a post on there with some kind of like, hey, they’re doing a show.

Pete Wright: There you have it.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay, great.

Pete Wright: What do you do to keep your family running? That’s what we wanted to hear about. Family tips, tricks, and hacks to share with the community. What do you do to keep your family running? And we ended up with four, I think, really clean categories that just sort of happened. They just, it was emergent categorization. Was way too easy.

Nikki Kinzer: Wonderful. So, we’re going to start with alarms, I believe.

Pete Wright: Yeah. I’m curious how you use alarms for your family. How does this … because I know you use alarms yourself and I use the heck out of alarms.

Nikki Kinzer: And I recommend that every ADHD-er uses alarms for sure.

Pete Wright: But how does this extend to your family?

Nikki Kinzer: Well, personally, it probably extends more personally and I can probably speak more for myself and like what I see my husband do and I see my daughter do, but I don’t see my son just because he’s not around enough to really notice how he’s using them. But I know for me, it’s definitely to prevent me from, well, I’ll just be honest. I’ve been water coloring. I’ve been learning how to water color and I’ve been having so much fun and the time goes by really fast. And I need to put an alarm on so that I know that I need to go do my work. I need to go meet my client at nine o’clock or 10 o’clock.

Pete Wright: Must stop water color.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. And so I will put an alarm on just to make sure that I don’t miss that, because I could easily miss that. I love using the Pomodoro effect or the Pomodoro effect. That’s the show. Not the Pomodoro effect, but it’s the one where that’s the magician, the magic guy. Oh my God. It’s amazing. Have you seen it?

Pete Wright: I don’t know.

Nikki Kinzer: Anyway, but the Pomodoro method I love using for like cleaning house and doing chores. So, I’ll use alarms for that, because how do you even know what 25 minutes is? And so, and when you’re doing a chore, it feels like it’s forever. Really does. But anyway, so I’ll use it for that. And of course to get up in the morning and to keep myself on track. My husband does the same thing. If he, especially before my kids started driving, if he needed to pick up somebody, he will have the alarm set. And it really is a reminder, it’s just reminding us that there’s something else that needs our attention. And so we need to do it.

Pete Wright: Yeah, well, for me, it’s all about I use Todoist and many of my alarms and alerts start there. For example, things that I need to do on monthly, quarterly basis, all of those sorts of like change the filters in the furnace. I have an alarm that is set to trigger me to change contexts. Whatever I’m doing on a Sunday morning, I change contexts, do that. On a daily basis I scream alarms all the time. I’m using all of our voice activated devices and I do it on behalf of everybody in our family. So, I’ll set a voice, I’ll say, "Hey, lady set an alarm for Nick’s driving test." Which he happens to be going to get his permit test today. And so when he’s in one mode, there needs to be an alarm to change gears.

Pete Wright: Anytime you need to change context is on those daily alarms. That’s what it’s super useful for. And for the longest time, the hey lady, we’re a home pod family and the hey lady wouldn’t do multiple alarms at the same time. So, you couldn’t scream like, Hey time … what I think we use mostly in the kitchen for this purpose. Time cooking different things that have different times, now you can. And so it makes it incredibly useful to be able to say in my office, hey lady, remind me to make this phone call in a half hour and also remind me to stop working on this project and go pick up my kids. And so those things are constantly kind of happening and using my voice to do that has been a really big addition over the last year, two years.

Pete Wright: And so we also got feedback from you, dear listener. And so we have a list of some of them. Let’s look at some of our favorites here. Number one, "I have daily alarms set in my phone to give my ADHD kiddos their meds and vitamins." Absolutely. That is, it’s one of those great ones where it feels like when would I be setting alarms for somebody else, but that’s a perfect context. Set alarms to help you manage your kids. "I rely on routine daily alerts on my phone. My goal is to not need them, because the routine is established, but when I’m starting a habit, the alerts are crucial. I keep them going for the ultra rare moment something has come up and pulled me out of my routine. I’m always grateful for the alarm when that happens." Oh, 100%.

Nikki Kinzer: And can I just say something about that? First of all, I think it’s wonderful, a great way to use it, but I also want to say, there is no shame in keeping the alarms on. You don’t need to wait for the routine to be established, because the reality with ADHD is that you could get distracted and that routine is going to fall to the wayside. So, having that alert, even though you know it’s coming, I still think is crucial. I really do, going forward just because it’s just something to … what is it? Like a backup system from your memory?

Pete Wright: Yeah, it’s a backup system.

Nikki Kinzer: So, that’s the only thing [crosstalk 00:11:05].

Pete Wright: I do too. I keep these things running constantly, just because of that. And I’m really okay saying stop. I’m okay hitting stop, because I know that, that little jar of that little shock of change context is still useful. I do worry a little bit. And I wonder, if you’re somebody who gets like alert blind, notification blind, if something comes on, it comes too often. It stops having any meaning at all.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. And that’s a really good point that you bring up because I think, well, I know that I hear a lot of people say that, that the reminders don’t work anymore because they ignore them. But I do think it goes back to what is the purpose of the reminder and the alarm. If you are putting an alarm on that says at 3:00 PM, go do dishes and you don’t want to do the dishes at 3:00 PM. And so you just ignore it, which happens. That’s probably not a really effective way to remind you or motivate you to do the dishes. But if you have an alarm set at 2:20 to go pick up your kids, you’re not going to forget them. You’re not going to ignore that alert. So, I think it’s the purpose. It’s the purpose behind what are you being reminded of? And is it really a reminder to transition or is it something else to go do something that you said you’re going to do?

Pete Wright: I know that there are the situations where I can be in enough of a hyper-focus that I’ll forget to leave. And so even when it’s to pick up my kids. I know that, that’s a thing that I have to fight, because-

Nikki Kinzer: Even when the alarm comes on. You’ll ignore it.

Pete Wright: If the alarm comes on, well, not ignore it necessarily, but again, if I look at it, I’m like, oh, okay, that’s alarm, stop. I know that if I don’t get up within that next half second and change context, it is quite likely that I’ll be back in it again, like I’ll fall back into the zone.

Nikki Kinzer: And then do you forget to pick up the kids?

Pete Wright: Yeah, now the alarm isn’t going, because I’ve stopped it. And so I think this next one-

Nikki Kinzer: So, then you need to alarms.

Pete Wright: Right. Well, and this next one I think is really good. Here’s the next guidance, set alarm. "In the beginning, I’ll have an alarm for getting ready to go and another alarm for leave now. But then I trained myself to snooze it until I’m actually in the car and leaving so that I can use just one alarm. I titled the alarm as pickup, insert kid’s name. I use the church bell alarm sound. I thought it sounded like a school bell on TV. And it helped me associate that with pickup." Well, that’s really useful. And I think actually I turned, I don’t know why I did this, but there is a feature where you in the alarm app where you can say, don’t use the snooze feature.

Pete Wright: I don’t even want a snooze button, because I’m kind of a snoozeaholic. If I have a snooze option, then I’ll train myself that, oh, it’s another seven minutes or whatever it is, like it’s okay. So, I just turned that off years ago, but I think this is one of those contexts where having the snooze button is really useful. And I think that’s great advice.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, I do too. I like that a lot.

Pete Wright: Here’s one that is again about the voice assistance. This one begins with an A. We’ll call her Anastasia so nobody’s boxes get triggered here. "Anastasia fighting about the grocery list. My partner tells her when he runs out of something, I don’t forget what I was doing when he interrupts me. And I don’t forget what he told me if I don’t immediately stop to write it down. She is so much better at that job." So, that’s one of those really useful things, adding items to the grocery list.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, very useful. Love that.

Pete Wright: Super useful, which takes us to planning and routines, our next major category of tips. Planning, and routines. Now, not just for yourself, but planning in and around your family.

Nikki Kinzer: I am just so happy and thrilled that people contributed to this topic. Because this is something that people that listen to the show and people that I work with really struggle with planning and routine. So, it was really great to hear what other people are doing and how it works for them. So, that’s all I have to say is, thank you. Thank you, listeners.

Pete Wright: Number one, "My brain works best when I run through my day in order, coffee, exercise, get ready, pick up groceries, put them away, head to work. If I divert from the order, it’s very obvious to me and quickly fixed." I just want to add, it’s very me too. I’m super like to the point where for a long time I ate food in a circle around my plate. If there were multiple sides on a plate, I eat them in order. I don’t do that anymore. I’ve managed to enjoy multiple foods and tastes at the same time.

Pete Wright: But it was, I had to be really rigorous about it. That I get broken if I have to do things out of order and especially in my routines, totally get that. "I follow a basic FlyLady system, daily and weekly routines, because it is very ADHD friendly and forgiving. I attempted using it about 15 years ago, but I didn’t understand how customizable it is and found it overwhelming. Once I figured out that you can tailor it to your life successfully, it was a good fit." What do you know about FlyLady?

Nikki Kinzer: I know nothing.

Pete Wright: Okay.

Nikki Kinzer: So, the only thing I know, I shouldn’t say I know nothing. I know it’s a website. I know that they can send you daily emails, reminders, and it’s like a structured system of do this then. But the only thing I really know is that she has this like thought process around cleaning the sink or having a shiny sink. If you do anything, do that. So, anyway, that’s all I know about it. It’s not … I don’t know if it’s ADHD friendly, but this person is saying it is. And that apparently you can customize it. So, that’s fantastic.

Pete Wright: Yeah. If you go to flylady.net/ … well, just get started. There’s a getting started link at the top right. It’s a funny little website. It hasn’t been updated in a, I mean, the content is updated, but the design hasn’t been updated in a long time. So, it feels like going back in time a little bit, it’s like circa 1999. So, you click on that get started and you get to, we’re definitely a FlyLady, sink family. That sink trick is magical for us. And the whole thinking behind it, I gather, is that if you clean and dry your sink every day, it actually becomes contagious to things around in your kitchen. And so our kitchen is notably more organized and cleaner, like picked up when we clean and dry out the sink. It spreads. It’s kind of amazing.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay. I’m going to try it because I don’t have that philosophy in our house yet. And we have a lot of dishes hanging around.

Pete Wright: I’m telling you, we started … because once the sink is clean, like everything else looks so dirty. And so-

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, I can see that for sure, because everything is then on the counter.

Pete Wright: Yeah. Right. You notice. And when you notice, that’s the magic of it. When you notice you are enabled to make change. But the trick is getting yourself to notice and that’s hard. So, I had to FlyLady. That’s a great, great one.

Nikki Kinzer: Something else to check out.

Pete Wright: Totally. "Do a weekly family planner meeting. Even though I hated this, every week, it really helped the whole family. We would go lunch, normally McDonald’s, on Sunday. Once we were done eating, I would pull out our planners. This was a 90s, 2000s, to plan out the week. Who had what, who needed a car, et cetera. The key was going to a place for lunch. It never worked if we did it at home." I could totally see that working. I’m really, that’s an interesting tip.

Nikki Kinzer: It is. It’s a really interesting tip and I can see why it wouldn’t work at home. Yeah, that’s lovely. I think that’s a great idea.

Pete Wright: Yeah. "Bedtime means you are in your room and in bed, but it’s okay to be awake still."

Nikki Kinzer: We kind of had that in our house with our kids.

Pete Wright: We do that. For me, it is definitely okay to be. Because what are you going to do, punish yourself if you’re still awake? The trick for me is that I need to be-

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, I’m sorry, this is for everybody. This isn’t just for children. See, I think of bedtime. And I’m thinking, oh, our kids, bedtime. It’s okay if you’re just in your bed, but this is also absolutely for adults. What am I thinking?

Pete Wright: Right. And this is the thing we fight as adults, I think, which is the fight to be in bed and still working on something. You trick yourself by saying, well, I’m only on my tablet or my phone, but you’re still like maybe looking at email or doing that thing. So, I am totally okay with being awake if you’re in bed, as long as you’re getting ready to sleep or reading, relaxing, doing something that is not geared toward ending in sleep. So, yeah. Okay. "Include the kids and family decisions." I like this one a lot. "Like vacation, furniture, going out to eat, et cetera, even though I’m single and have no children, I didn’t realize how important this was until I was around other parents. It gives the kids ownership and they are more willing to go along with things." Totally get buy-in by bringing them in.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. And you can do this at a very young age.

Pete Wright: "If you have more than a couple of errands to run, I get burned out and forget, and just go to TJ Max for retail therapy."

Nikki Kinzer: One of my favorite stores.

Pete Wright: "Since I verbally process reviewing the list with him out loud, makes it more solidly, cemented in my mind and helps me remember when I am out and about. Even if I don’t remember what’s next. I do remember that there is a list." Mostly for me, figure out how you process. This is a great reminder that if you’re, this is a person who knows they’re a verbal processor. And I think there are still a lot of people who don’t know how they best process information, which leads us to cleaning. I feel like we already talked about FlyLady, but this is kind of a cleaning section. We’ve got some tips about cleaning.

Nikki Kinzer: "I have not just a launch pad by the door, but also launch pads near the stairs on each level where I put whatever needs to go up or down. So, when I’m heading that way, I take it with me versus doing a million trips back and forth." I do the same thing. I do the same thing.

Pete Wright: You’re a launch pad person?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. It’s not necessarily like, oh, this is Paige’s step or this is Jayden’s step or whatever. But it’s just anything that goes upstairs we’ll put on the stair case, hoping that the person going upstairs will take it with them. It happens maybe two times out of 10 where they actually do it on their own. Most of the time we have to say something and say, hey, can you grab this and take it up to your room? But what I like about it is it avoids the doing the million trips back and forth, but because their bedrooms are upstairs and our living space is downstairs, if they’ve left stuff around, it’s nice to put it on the staircase, because it’s just tidier. It’s one little spot that I’m putting their clothes or whatever, versus having it be all over the place. So, that’s why I do it is just to kind of keep things in a little bit more tidier fashion.

Pete Wright: I don’t think I’ve ever run across that concept of assigning somebody a stair. That is brilliant and I think I need to start it immediately. Although, now I’m doing it where one of us is actually moving out. So, that’s less useful.

Nikki Kinzer: And it’s not necessarily a stair, it’s any stair.

Pete Wright: You don’t label the stairs?

Nikki Kinzer: No, it’s any stair. But I do put them in separate piles.

Pete Wright: This is Nikki’s stair, keep your stuff off.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. I do have little piles for each kid and for husband too, because his office is up there. So, all right. "Plan Saturday morning for house cleaning or the weekend, but also give each child a cleaning job, like a bathroom. So, everyone is cleaning at the same time." I did this growing up and Saturday morning was the time that we cleaned the house. And it is a great idea, because it does get everything done before the weekend really starts. And so you really get to enjoy the weekend with a clean house or a tidier house. So, I love this idea. I think it’s great. Do it all together.

Pete Wright: Me too.

Nikki Kinzer: "Emptying dishwasher and setting the table for dinner by odd or even birthday. My sister was born on an odd day and I was born on an even day. So, it helped my mom remember whose day it was. And we would remember." So if, oh, that’s so interesting. I’ve never heard of that before. So, you have to go back and forth.

Pete Wright: And I can’t do it because both my kids were even days.

Nikki Kinzer: So, you’d have to find something else, but that’s a really good twist on that so you don’t forget, because it is, it’s hard to remember Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Tuesday and Thursday, and you’re flipping back and forth all the time. Okay. "My fiance and I both ADHD and we’ve simply decided to lower our standards for clean. That’s not to say that our house is a garbage pit, but it’s not better homes and gardens and Marie Condo would have a stroke. It’s not particularly dirty, but there are piles of beep all over."

Pete Wright: That’s not one of the words we have to beep.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, it’s not. Okay, but there are piles of crap all over. Our laundry-

Pete Wright: I mean, you got every bite out of that one, though, didn’t you?

Nikki Kinzer: I know right? Because I understand. "Our laundry is almost always piled up and we usually have a bin of mail that’s been sitting for weeks." And I get it. And it’s so funny because people think that my house must just be prim and proper because I used to be an organizer. But it’s so not when you live with two teenagers, a dog, two cats, two fish and a Guinea pig. The house gets dirty. And I was just telling somebody the other day that I am okay. Okay, I will get done at some time. At some point something will get done. And so I’m not going to let it ruin my day. And so I love that. All right. "I do a modified version of Dana K White’s four non-negotiables every day. Do the dishes, vacuum the kitchen floor, swish and swipe in the bathroom and pick up for five minutes. The house is better. It turns out if the house is a swamp, people pretend not to see it. However, if the dishes are done and the floors are swept and picked up, people will help maintain it and make it better."

Pete Wright: This goes back to the FlyLady thing. Cleanliness and organization is contagious. If you have a thing that is kind of picked up, you notice the stuff that’s not.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s very true.

Pete Wright: It’s damn tricky is what it is. It works.

Nikki Kinzer: But does it work to do every day? Do you vacuum the kitchen floor every day to keep kitchen clean because the sink is clean?

Pete Wright: Generally. Broom’s nearby, do a quick sweep. We don’t vacuum.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, but you’ll sweep.

Pete Wright: I did get a new vacuum cleaner though that I love. Holy cow. And weirdly is helping us clean. It’s the Shark. Do you know about the Shark?

Nikki Kinzer: No, that sounds like fun.

Pete Wright: Super powerful, HEPA filter, but the coolest part about it is that you’re vacuuming along. It’s a push thing, but you’re vacuuming along and you’re like, oh, I should get this corner thing here. And you push a little button and the handle comes off and it’s a sucker. So, that’s one that just, the handle becomes a short thing that you can suck or you push a different button and a whole long rod comes out, the extendo rod comes out and it’s the sucker. And so it’s just like a sword being sheathed and unsheathed. And it changes the way we vacuum, because our old vacuum cleaner was a canister that we’re dragging around with the thing, terrible.

Pete Wright: This is great. Great, great, great, great, great. And it does hard floors, because you just change the mode and it turns off the spinner. So, it doesn’t shoot stuff everywhere and sucks so hard that it picks up everything on the floor. And so it’s made it now just the one stop device. We don’t have to actually sweep every day and then vacuum or Swiffer. We can just vacuum. Super handy. Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Very cool.

Pete Wright: And Dana K White, she does A Slob Comes Clean.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, oh, okay.

Pete Wright: Yeah, that’s another great recommendation and podcast and awesome.

Nikki Kinzer: All right.

Pete Wright: Keep that coming.

Nikki Kinzer: Now we go onto meals. Do you want to go onto meals?

Pete Wright: Meals, yeah. Wrap it up with meals. Another great set of recommendations. Meals are a perennial challenge. Just when I feel like we have a great routine for picking meals and doing all the shopping, something happens. Somebody has to do something and miss a meal and don’t eat that meal without me, because it’s my favorite or yes, we’ve had the same five meals week after week after week because we’re in a rut. And so how to figure out how to get everybody on board with meal planning and excitement about eating is hard. And I’m speaking to myself, because-

Nikki Kinzer: And to me too. I really wish that we just didn’t have to eat dinner. Because if we just had breakfast and lunch, it’d be fine.

Pete Wright: Everybody would be happy.

Nikki Kinzer: But it’s this dinner thing that just drives me nuts.

Pete Wright: Why is dinner so hard?

Nikki Kinzer: I don’t know, but it is. But we’ve got some ideas here.

Pete Wright: Here’s our number one. "I have a set day to pick up groceries and I even use a pickup service so that I can reuse my typical skeleton list and edit as needed and avoid impulse purchases." Boy, if that’s anything like a lesson learned from the pandemic

Nikki Kinzer: Right, 100%.

Pete Wright: Totally agree.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: That’s been so useful, like getting a handle on the apps and the tools and technologies around grocery, but it’s made going into the grocery store crazy now. Like you go into a grocery store and it’s just all giant pick baskets in these aisles. That’s kind of scary.

Nikki Kinzer: It is.

Pete Wright: They’re huge.

Nikki Kinzer: I know, I can’t believe how much money we’ve saved by doing that and the convenience just in itself.

Pete Wright: Yeah, huge.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s great.

Pete Wright: "I have a variety of packaged food for the kids to grab or microwave for themselves during the day. I also have bread, ham, sliced cheese, et cetera, if they want to make sandwiches. In other words, I don’t really make sure they eat during the day, but there will be food when they are hungry. My only rules for them is not to eat two hours before dinner. The clock starts two hours before dinner."

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. And you know what? We did do that with our children too. I remember it was before four o’clock you have to eat. If you’re going to eat anything, it has to be before four o’clock. Anything after four o’clock. Nope, Nope, Nope. Or it would be like a fruit, like if you’re really that hungry, you can go eat a banana. Because then that felt like it was sort of an extension to dinner. But yeah, that’s great.

Pete Wright: When the kids were really, really little, we had these rules for their learning to make their own lunch, to go to school, which was, there are just four categories, crunchy, veggie, fruity, protein. Crunchy, veggie, fruity, protein. As long as they could pick it. And that has stuck. Like they still, when they’re in there making their own stuff, they still are thinking in terms of, Hmm. What’s fruity that I can eat right now. So funny how these little habits stick around and they’re like going off to college, they still think crunchy, veggie, fruity, protein.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s awesome.

Pete Wright: "Last year I got tired of prepping dinner for myself and began to have each of my kids pick a day of the week to help out. They kind of became my accountability partners." Amen to this. That has been huge. Especially over the last year, we do exactly the same thing. We actually make our kids make a dinner for the family each night. And that was fantastic.

Nikki Kinzer: The other thing I want to add to this is if you do any kind of meal delivery service, like Hello Fresh or Freshly or any of those, that’s also a good thing to say, hey, one kid one night make this, because it does give you all of the instructions. All of the ingredients are already like measured pretty much. And so it’s a great way to incorporate that.

Pete Wright: "Because my fiance and I are both ADHD. We each have tasks that for whatever reason, we particularly hate and make sure to divide and conquer those tasks. An example, I find grocery shopping, planning meals and cooking to be absolutely overwhelming and stressful. On the other hand, he absolutely cannot stand the multi-step process of keeping the children clean and uncluttered."

Nikki Kinzer: Your kitchen. You said children.

Pete Wright: I did say children, isn’t that funny?

Nikki Kinzer: We need to make sure that those children are clean and uncluttered.

Pete Wright: My point stands.

Nikki Kinzer: They can’t wear too many clothes or accessories.

Pete Wright: Right, right. "We’ve got to keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered. The solution to this is that I have entirely taken on the keeping of the kitchen. And he does literally all of the food, shopping, planning, and cooking. I clean up after his kitchen messes and he makes sure I’m not surviving on ramen and cheese cubes." Don’t disparage ramen and cheese cubes. I could live on ramen and cheese cubes.

Nikki Kinzer: I don’t think I could.

Pete Wright: I could be happy.

Nikki Kinzer: I would have to have a lot of water, because there’s so much sodium.

Pete Wright: Just a lot of salt.

Nikki Kinzer: I’ll bet it is good. I will admit it is good.

Pete Wright: It is so good. And that’s it, those are our tips.

Nikki Kinzer: I just have to say one thing about this last one, it’s such a great example of teamwork. And I think that, that’s a lot of what our theme is during these podcasts, these shows that we’re creating is that teamwork being able to, what am I good at? What do I not like so much? And if you guys can come with a compromise of, hey, I can do this, you can do that. Let’s work together. Just makes the family and relationship and home much easier place to maintain and be happy in.

Pete Wright: That’s it. That’s list of tips. Thank you everybody for contributing. You are fantastic. And you read a list like this and you think community’s got it on lock. They’re doing fine. They don’t need us. They’re doing all right. You’re doing fine, everybody. Thanks for hanging out. We sure appreciate you downloading, listening to the show. Thanks for your time and attention. Don’t forget, if you have something to contribute with this conversation, you want to keep it going, keep sharing those tips over in the show talk channel in the Discord server. You can join us right there by becoming a supporting member at the deluxe level. On behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright. And we’ll see you right back here next week on Taking Control, The ADHD podcast.

Through Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast, Nikki Kinzer and Pete Wright strive to help listeners with support, life management strategies, and time and technology tips, dedicated to anyone looking to take control of their lives in the face ADHD.