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Improving the Morning Routine for ADHD Child

Updated on December 19, 2011

"Get your shoes on!" "Don't forget your backpack!" "Why are you just sitting there; you're going to be late!"

If these phrases echo through your house some mornings, you might be dealing with a plain old dreamy kid. But for the parents of a child with ADHD, these phrases are probably part of a litany of cajoling and frustration. Even parents who have a pretty good handle on techniques for handling their ADHD child have a hard time getting their child out the door without difficulty. So what can help?

Make a schedule. This can simply be a list of the things your ADHD child has to do to get out the door on time. A typical list of morning tasks might include: go to the bathroom, wash hands, eat breakfast, get dressed, comb hair, brush teeth, take medication, get backpack, and get on the school bus. Another option is to use technology. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you have the option of using a great tool for scheduling. It is a little iPhone/iPad app called First Then. This inexpensive, ingenious program lets you create a schedule, complete with a checklist for the child to tick off as she finishes the task. You can add images and record your voice for each task.

Prepare ahead. Lay out clothing, pack lunches, make sure everything the child needs is in the backpack. Post the morning schedule, too.

Get yourself a cup of coffee. If you can arrange your morning to get up before your child and have a few minutes to collect yourself, you will be better able to withstand the morning stress.

Try to stay calm. Remember, your child with ADHD is wired a certain way and cannot help getting distracted from the job at hand. The calmer you are, the less likely she is to lose it.

Reward good behavior. If your child has a particularly good day, remember to praise her. A small prize or extra time with mom or dad is a concrete way for your child to know you appreciate her extra effort.

So, with a bit of advanced planning and a lot of patience, mornings should start to get easier for you and your child.


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    • LA Elsen profile image

      LA Elsen 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      My daughter was recently diagnosed with Sensory integration disorder and we suspect ADHD. This is a big help to us since school is starting soon.

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 6 years ago

      You offer good advice, SpecialKids.

      You're off to a good start with your first hub. Welcome to Hubpages. :-)