Between waking the dead, gathering the heard, and getting ANYWHERE on time…ever…Mornings can be tough.
Try These 4 Steps To Making Mornings Easier
Rise and Shine!
Parents often describe waking their child as being like waking the dead. There is a biological processes happening here. Neither their will to please you nor your yelling is going to fix, but it wake a growling monster-child. If your child is taking medication, wake them 20 minutes before the official wake-up time and give them their meds. (Of course, first check with your prescriber regarding dose and etc. Do I really need to say that?)
Bonus: Here is a great article (click here) and a fantastic podcast (see below) on sleep issues. Listen to it on your way to work.
“Go put it in the Go Pile“
Place a basket, box, or small rug near the door. Get in the routine of placing all needed items (backpacks, sports equipment, notes, shoes, purse, keys, etc.) on the Go Pile. Teach your child to think through those things during a time that they are not in a rush. That rush shuts the brain down, and the memory says, “no no I’m not gunna tell.”
Bonus strategy: Place an age appropriate list (picture or words) of items that should be on that launch pad.
Bonus, bonus strategy: Set up a special treat, or extra screen time if your little stinker can get their stuff on that launch pad without you having to remind them, or by a certain predetermined time (like 7:00).
This technique is also known as a “Launch Pad” coined by Ann Dolin, M.Ed whom is also a fantastic resource on the topic of organizing related to academics.
Good Morning Superstars
This strategy works particularly well with multiple children.
- Place a list of targeted behaviors on the door. Some examples might be brushed teeth, has shoes on, backpack on, ate breakfast, brushed hair, was nice to sister, has smile on face, balancing on one foot, etc.”
- Put the list in a plastic sheet protector and hang a dry erase marker next to it.
- Right before leaving the house, put a star next to each item that your child accomplished. Praise the stuff they did well, and let the other stuff go. One rule, all praise, no lectures.
Getting Groovy (and dressed)
ADHDers are typically ‘time-blind.’ This is like a being in a cloud of thoughts and totally unaware of time passing by. We can wake up on time, get ready on time, and still be late. It’s a talent, really.
You will need to teach your child that alarm clocks are their friend. Set alarms to trigger the main transitions within the morning routine. A fun way to do this is to set songs for each task. It’s fun to dance and get dressed at the same time. Let the music be the nagging reminder.
- Wake-up warning – something soothing
- Get up – their favorite song
- Get dressed – something to dance too
- Eating breakfast – 3-4 songs from a favorite movie
- Suit up (jacket, shoes, backpack, etc.) – something up-beat and dance worthy
It may seem excessive, but so is yelling all morning. Once you have set these songs in your phone, it’ll automatically play every morning. Might even keep you on track.
Bonus: Also for morning routines, there is an app that is getting rave reviews in the ADHD community. More on that app and others here.