How to Beat Morning Chaos

How to Beat Morning Chaos with Children with ADHD

Colorado CACADHD, child development/parenting, Parenting, stress & anxiety Leave a Comment

Most parents who come to our office in Fort Collins all share the same issue – mornings are tough! Whether it’s getting ready for school, getting dressed and cleaned, or just trying to maintain some level of organization, parents are looking for solutions for the chaos of a weekday morning. Specifically speaking to parents of children with ADHD and other executive functioning disorders, there can be so many ideas floating around as to what may work. So, while you figure out what will work with your children, here are a few practical, simple ideas that can support you on those challenging weekday mornings:

Organize as much as you can the night before

If you can prepare lunch, get clothes together, and plan the next day before your alarm goes off in the morning, that morning will have less chaos to manage. The lunch is already in the fridge. Clothes are hanging on the chair. And everything is out in the open, ready to make your morning that much easier. This way,  your child doesn’t have to deal with making all these decisions as he’s waking up.

If getting to sleep the night before is challenging for your kiddo, check out our blog on sleep solutions.

Make a morning checklist

What are the five things that need to happen every morning? Instead of YOU being the reminder, put together a simple checklist that she can see and understand quickly.

  • Shower
  • Brush teeth
  • Get dressed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Get ready to go (backpack? Lunch? shoes?)

If these things need to happen every day, how can you help your child make this happen every day? And how can all of this happen without compounding chaos or stress?

Routine, Routine, Routine

If bedtime happens at the same time every night, and the morning routine happens at the same time every morning, children know what to expect. Set the alarm for the same time, have the same game plan, and set the expectation that every morning looks like every other morning. Life is easier when there’s a routine.

Does your child actually want to do this?

That’s a strange question, right? What child who knows better actually wants to go to school? Well, there’s a big difference in attitude, participation, and patience when your child is on board. You’ve never seen a kid get ready faster when they want to go do something. So, is there some kind of reward or positive aspect of the day that will give your child some desire to get ready?

We’re Here to Help!

Our clinicians specialize in treatment of ADHD in children and teens at our offices in Fort Collins. Feel free to give us a call to learn how counseling and psychological evaluations can be helpful, or call to  schedule an appointment. You can reach us at (970) 889-8204 or

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