Rhythms, Rituals & Routines for ADHD Children
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I have written before about the manic & stressful Cornflake Rush Hour – but this exercise is different as it asks your kids want they prefer !
SCARY but enlightening & transformational!
Start out by asking your kids:
1.“What would your BEST EVER morning look, sound and feel like?”
2.“How would you like to be woken up?” – by Mum, an alarm clock, by Dad, or by your sister ……
3.“What would you like to happen next?”
4.“Then what would you like to do?”
5.What would your ideal breakfast be?”
6.“Then what would you like to happen?”
Don’t judge as this could open up a whole new, relaxed and positive conversation around healthy eating, toooooo much TV, juggling the school run from everyone’s perspective, thinking about organising younger brothers and sisters, to packing pack lunches……
Then discuss their WORST morning ever.
1.” What would be the worse scenario for you?”
2.“How would you be woken up?”
3.“What would happen next?”
4.“Then what would you do?”
5.“What would be your worst breakfast?”
6.“Then what would happen?”
7.“Is there anything that makes you particularly angry, grumpy or sad in the morning?”
This isn’t about giving away your power as a parent but helping you find out about what really matters to your child from their perspective and then deciding on better ways forward because as Albert Einstein said, “The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!”
For a child with ADHD daily routine is essential.
For a child with ADHD daily routine is essential, as simple routines provide a framework on which your life and theirs, can run more smoothly.
Of course, life is full of little, and big, surprises but having a routine makes life with your ADHD child more manageable & easier.
For creating your effective ADHD daily routine, always be sure to include these 3 things.
Start the Day off Positively: Have a Morning Plan
A successful ADHD daily routine starts with your morning plan as a planned routine gives everyone clarity, direction & confidence. Also, if you fail to start your day positively, everyone’s day starts off badly & that’s a negative way to begin any day or week. Morning routines for ADHD children can be especially important, but everyone in the family will benefit.
The first place to start is by creating a regular, consistent waking up time each day. Decide on a good time for your family and be consistent. A Stanford University study suggested that it is more important for your body to get up at the same time each morning than it is to go to sleep at the same time each night. Getting up at the same time every morning is a fundamental aspect of good sleep routine and in this busy, hectic, 24 hour connected world, sleep is a vital component to good mental and physical strength. So, make it an important part of your daily routine to wake up at the same time each day.
Get into a new habit of preparing for your day ahead. This means limiting distractions as much as possible.
Cut out screen time in the mornings. Don’t turn on the TV, check Facebook or open emails as you are a role model to your kids. Sit down, eat together and get the day moving with structure.
Eat a good breakfast and get out the door.
Keep It Simple: get up at the same time, avoid distractions, eat and go.
End Your Child’s Day Well.
The last key element of a successful ADHD daily routine is to end everyone’s day positively as your child will fall asleep feels positive, upbeat and successful which will nurture their self-esteem and self-confidence regularly. To end your day well, you need to build in a routine of relaxing, reflecting or what I call a ‘Pause to Ponder’ Moment. Ask your child to tell you what went well that day – don’t concentrate on the mistakes, failures or outbursts – don’t water the weeds – water the flowers so they bloom and blossom. In our day of speed, get into a nightly routine of slowing things down & focusing on the positive. Always begin a fresh as tomorrow is another day. Don’t drive forward looking in the rear-view mirror!
Studies have shown that mindful awareness does have a positive effect on helping ADHD symptoms.
Pause to Ponder
Pop the kettle on and make a cup of tea & ask yourself from time to time:
What could I adjust to make our routines more efficient or more productive? What small changes do we need to make?
Memories That Last A Lifetime.
Having a child with ADHD is not always easy but by putting simple routines into your family life it will help to improve the harmony, happiness and enjoyment within it building positive memories that will last a lifetime.
Further resources to aid you with supporting your ADHD Child