ADHD Kids And School Mornings
Back to school mornings can be hectic and overwhelming at the best of times. If your child has ADHD, it can be even more stressful. There are things you can put into place to make mornings go much more smoothly. We use a lot of these techniques with my seven year old and it has drastically improved the overall mood of our mornings. Things have calmed a lot, and we aren’t so rushed and panic filled in the mornings anymore.
Establish a morning routine
Set up a schedule. Times for waking up, Breakfast, teeth brushing, getting dressed, getting on the bus, or a set time to leave. It helps them know what to expect each morning, so they are less distracted and stressed, and more focused.
Break tasks into smaller steps
Instead of just saying “go get ready for school,” break each thing down into manageable steps. Wake up time, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, get backpack, leave time.
Keep things organized
Put out uniforms the night before. clothes, belts, shoes. Make sure to go through backpacks and sign all paperwork, and that homework is completed and backpack repacked.
Use positive reinforcement
Praise goes a long way with these kids. Even just saying “Great job staying on task” will make a child’s day. Set up a weekly chart, with stickers so they feel involved. Offer little rewards or incentives for staying on task, and following directions.
Encourage self care
Establish healthy habits. Sleep, breakfast, even physical activity before school. Even if it’s just stretching will help burn off some of that excess energy. My son likes baseball, so I let him throw the ball, after everything is prepared until it’s time to leave, but any physical activity before school will help.
Communicate with the school
Stay in touch with your child’s teacher/teachers. Share anything with them that works well for your child at home and collaborate ask them what is working best for your child at school. The teachers and staff at school are your greatest allies, stay in contact and utilize them.
Remember each child is unique
Some kids will just respond differently, but I believe in a structured, loving environment these kids can and do thrive. Seek help from your pediatrician if your child’s ADHD significantly impairs their ability to prepare for school mornings. Building a structured routine can help set a positive tone for successful mornings for the upcoming school year.