My daughter is bright, able, and enthusiastic about learning, but has a really hard time initiating a variety of tasks - even those she enjoys. Admitedly, I am not unlike her. It is almost as if a "warm-up" is needed before the task can happen. As an adult I can understand what I am doing and sort of give myself a pep-talk and I can plow forward and get the job done.
My daughter on the other hand. . . As a seven-year old on her way to eight, I understand that some of this is developmental, but whether the task is going to read a book she loves, or writing a paragraph for school, she often gets distracted with other things along the way.
For example, when told to get dressed and ready to go to Tai Kwon Do, she might get her pants and a tank-top on, but forget to put on the shirt because she can't find it (even though it is hanging in the closet right where it belongs) and in forgetting she might start re-packing her gear bag (even though it is unnecessary for the forms class she is headed to). Then, she might also need to be reminded to fill her water bottle and pack it as well (despite the checklist I've made up and attached to the bag for her to use so she doesn't forget anything that she used to use successfully).
This kind of stuff is especially a problem when it comes to getting school work done. She'll sharpen her pencils, realize she needs an eraser and take 10 minutes to find one (even though there are about twenty in the spot in the desk drawer right where they belong), and then follow that up with some other "need" like going potty or grabbing a drink of water, "because I'm thirsty mom" - "but what about the bottle of water you already have on your desk?". . .
For the longest time, I've approached the problem as though it were simply either a forgetfulness or a behavioral issue, but I'm realizing that although it doesn't affect me when she struggles with this even during activities she enjoys, she does in fact, have trouble even when it is an activity she enjoys. For example, she might have trouble finding the book she wants to read, forget she was going to read and start playing with dolls instead (of course, this is of no consequence unless she is specifically supposed to be reading because it is "quiet time before bed or something).
I realize, this is an executive function skill, and is one of those symptoms often associated with ADD/ADHD. I am suspicious she has this challenge and am working on getting her evaluated, but in the mean-time we still have to limp along and get through school work as well as the logistics of any given day. I think it is beginning to affect her confidence, and my patience is beginning to wear on the thin side on this one. Since I don't really feel it is a problem related to motivation any more, I'm wondering if others have found an answer that was successful for them with their Elementary-School-aged-child.