Start Your ADHD Child’s Morning Right
Creating a Calm Morning Routine for Your ADHD Child
Having children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - characterized by impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and lack of focus - can be a real challenge for many reasons. Mornings with ADHD children are particularly tricky and can quickly turn into a disaster if time is short. No one likes the idea of having to nag, beg, and shout before even leaving the house.
Luckily, there are several ways to encourage a smooth and calm morning in your household.
6 Tips for a Calming Morning Routine
We've put together 6 tips to help you create a calm routine for mornings with your ADHD child.
- Stay Organized
Mornings are always a crazy rush, but with an ADHD child this can be extra stressful as they are distracted easily. Our advice is to stay organized by doing some planning and preparation the night before.
- Help your child pack their school bag and pick out clothes the night before to save time in the morning.
- If you're making school lunches, prepare and pack them the night before and ask your child for help so they feel involved.
- Set up the breakfast table and put out breakfast items for the next morning.
- Wake up Right
Waking your ADHD child in the morning needs to be as stress-free as possible.
We suggest a “rise and shine” clock with LED lights that change color in the morning to let your child know it’s time to get up. This will help to align their body clock and eliminate the stress they might have around not knowing when to get up.
If your child needs extra help waking up, our secret weapon is essential oils. Dilute 1-2 drops of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil and gently rub it into their neck and back to wake them up. Woolzies Peppermint Oil is a good choice for mornings as it has a cool sensation and encourages focus and energy.
- Diffuse Essential Oils
Essential oils are a must-have in any household, especially for those with ADHD children.
You can create a calm and focused environment in the morning by using an oil diffuser because inhaling essential oils is thought to stimulate the brain’s limbic system. Simply add 5 drops of essential oils of your choice to your diffuser and see the benefits unfold.
An interesting two-year study looked at the benefits of essential oils for children between the ages of 6 and 12 with an ADHD or ADD diagnosis. It found a significant improvement in children who inhaled essential oils when they began feeling unfocused. Cedarwood and vetiver essential oils were the most effective and improved the children's performance and focus.
We must also give a special mention to Woolzies Roman Chamomile Oil, which is a great option to diffuse in the morning as it can calm hyperactivity and reduce anxiety.
- Prepare a Healthy Breakfast
A healthy breakfast is very important for a child with ADHD to set them up for a day with sustained energy and balanced blood sugar levels. However, you don’t want to provide too many breakfast choices as this can create indecision and stress. We suggest giving your child just two breakfast options.
Some healthy and time-saving options include a smoothie, oatmeal with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, avocado on wholegrain toast, or a yogurt bowl with fresh fruit and nuts.
- Use Visual Aids
Using visual cues can be helpful for easily distracted children who have trouble remembering what to do next. Get your child involved and make charts, signs, and lists with bright colors and pictures (which are super helpful if your child can’t read yet) that you can strategically place in their bedroom, bathroom, and at the breakfast table.
Include activities like getting dressed, brushing hair, having breakfast, checking the school bag, and brushing teeth. This will help to keep the morning on track as your child focuses on checking off each task.
- Get Rid of Distractions
Children - and all people - with ADHD are easily distracted and this can be frustrating when you're in a rush. Eliminate some of this stress by putting a ban on TV, tablets, gaming devices, computers, and smartphones in the morning before school.
The key to creating a calm and stress-free morning routine for your ADHD child is consistency. The predictability of routine will help your child feel secure and decrease the frequency of meltdowns and impulsive behavior.
By applying these simple tips, you’ll soon notice the improvements in your child’s stress levels and time management skills.