Getting up and out the door on time without forgetting something is perhaps the biggest struggle for families of children with ADHD. In our home, we have tried all the things. What works for us is ineffective for some of our friends, and what works for them causes anxiety and bickering in our house. So how do we ever figure it out? Is it even possible?
Oh Friend, I hear you! Mornings have been the hardest part of the day for us as well. But we have made tons of progress by implementing a few simple strategies, and so can you. But before I share our strategies with you, can I offer you some encouragement from God’s Word? Psalm 46:4-7 says:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
This may seem like an extreme passage, but I know some mornings in our house have felt like our little kingdom was tottering. Maybe you’ve felt the same. But, if we are true believers, we have been adopted into this “city of God”. If He promises to help her, will He not also help us? You are not in this alone - the Lord of hosts is with you and the God of Jacob is your fortress.
This actually brings me to my first tip for you:
Pray for help and creative solutions - I cannot tell you how many times I’ve prayed this prayer out of desperation, and God has always been faithful in providing an answer, either through a friend, something I read or listen to, or just a creative idea that pops into my head.
Prep the night before - check out last week’s post for more on this, as well as an evening routine printable.
Post some kind of morning routine list (use pictures for younger kids) - print it out and post it somewhere your kids will see it. I’ve included one here you can download for free. When you’re tempted to nag, remind your child to check the list.
Automate reminders - check out my Facebook page for a video on this later this week. Try using a countdown timer with big numbers so they don’t have to think about doing math. Try recording your child’s voice (or even a video) giving themselves instructions they can play back each morning. Or, try using a dry erase board with a column for tasks that need to be done and those that have been done. The child can move magnets from the “needs to be done” column to the “done” column when they’ve finished.
Be patient - if it takes the average person three weeks to establish new habits (psychologists now think it actually takes much longer than this), it takes the ADHD brain much longer. Often, by the time they get it down, they get bored with it and we have to try something different.
Praise progress - praise is a reward which produces dopamine, a feel-good hormone ADHD brains tend to be low on. Our brains crave dopamine, so praising even the smallest progress helps kids repeat the desired behavior.
Resist the urge to nag and lecture - if every morning is a struggle, we either need to wake up earlier, give it more time for the routine to settle in, or try something different. Our children with ADHD have enough shame, they don’t need us adding to it. Instead, ask your child what is working and what isn’t. See if they have ideas about how to make the mornings run more smoothly.
Remember, God is right there in this with you. I’m praying for you, too! And soon, I’m going to be announcing a way you can be a part of a community of Christian parents raising kids with ADHD. Stay posted for more on that!
Need more help? Book a free Discovery Session here to find out how my Family Home Framework can help your family flourish. Subscribe to this blog here and you’ll get a free guide “10 Strategies to Calm Your Emotional Child”.
The content found on Flourishing Family Coaching’s website and blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding ADHD, anxiety, depression or any other medical conditions. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.