Getting kids up and ready for school can be a challenge for any family. When you put a kid with ADHD in the mix, getting ready can be a HUGE battle. I have struggled for years to come up with a way to have easier mornings and help my boys do as much as possible to get themselves ready. Nagging and giving constant reminders makes me crazy.
We have tried all sorts of charts, some with movable pieces, or pictures or popsicle sticks, but nothing has proved to be very useful in getting my boys to be a bit more autonomous during our morning routine and helping me to stop nagging.
I am happy to say I’ve finally landed on something that has been working for our family! I laminated a simple half sheet of paper with a list of their morning tasks. Both boys can carry the list around with them as the morning progresses to remind them of the next step.
It is so simple and yet so powerful for a couple of reasons, the biggest one being it is always with them. A centralized wipe board was not doing the trick because they could only see it when they were in the kitchen–it was no help when they were upstairs or in the bathroom.I also kept the list simple and specific-each boy has one chore they must do in the course of the morning, but otherwise we have simple hygiene and prep for school tasks.
Each boy has a dry erase marker to check off the items as they are accomplished. If they get caught up playing before their list is complete all I have to do to get them back on track is ask, “What’s next on your list?” It has made mornings so much smoother and given them a bit of autonomy, too.
I can also attest to two other things we are doing to make mornings easier:
- We lay out our clothes at night for the following day. You may not think boys would have a problem with this, but they can. Just seeing the clothes laying on the floor helps to stir them out of bed faster-there is less thought involved.
- We plan out breakfasts and lunches the night before. My boys write their choices on a wipe board in the kitchen. This takes lots of decision making out of the morning and everything runs smoother.
Having a calm morning can really impact the rest of the day for every member of the family. Especially on school days, if I can send them away knowing they are in a good place, I know it will have a positive impact on their entire day.
If you have a friend who would benefit from this article please pass it along. And as always, thanks for taking the time to visit my blog! I’d love to hear what works for you in the mornings.