ADHD Morning Routine

Mornings are tough for most families, but if someone in your household has attention deficit disorder (ADHD), it’s likely that mornings get more


Mornings are tough for most families, but if someone in your household has attention deficit disorder (ADHD), it’s likely that mornings get more than a little chaotic, especially on school days. Everyone has to wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and get to school or work on time. A hectic morning is no way to begin the day and is especially hard on kids with ADHD. Here are some tips that can help you with those stressful mornings so your family can start the day together on the right foot.
The night before:

  • Get your kids to shower the night before. Cross one more item off the morning task list and opt for nighttime showers. Showers set your kids up for a soothing sleep and there will be less conflict in the morning fighting over bathroom time!
  • Pick out clothes the night before. Choosing what to wear eats up valuable morning time. Everyone in the house should lay out a full outfit for the next day the night before.
  • Have everyone load up their backpacks and briefcases the night before so that no papers, books, or projects get left behind. Put all the essentials right by the door so you can simply grab them on the way out.
  • Sort out lunch. Whether you’re packing up lunchboxes or handing out lunch money, square it away before bed so you’re not haphazardly throwing together PB&Js in the middle of the morning circus. Zip up the lunch money in a designated backpack pocket or have the lunchboxes ready to go in the fridge with a reminder sticky note on the fridge.
  • A good night’s sleep sets you up for a good morning. Make sure that your kids get to bed early enough for a solid 10 hours sleep and that you get yourself at least 7 hours.

In the mornings:

  • Set a step-by-step, time-guided routine for mornings that work for you and stick to it. For example: kids should be out of bed by 7 a.m., dressed by 7:25 a.m., eat breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and be out the door by 8 a.m.
  • To be early is to be on time. Be ahead of schedule and pretend school and work start 15 minutes earlier than they actually do. Padding the clock can cut down on tardiness and get you out the door at a reasonable hour. Avoiding last minute departures means avoiding stress, and avoiding dangerous habits you might practice only when you are in a hurry, such as speeding.
  • Stay calm. No matter how hard you try, every now and then you’re going to have one of “those mornings” when nothing seems to go right. Keep calm, accept that everyone will be a little late that day, and carry on.

Try some of these strategies to get your household on track in the mornings.

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