Monday was NOT a good day in our family.
The kids had been up late the night before at a friend’s house and they got way too much stimulation.
They had soda.
They played on tablets.
They ate fried food.
Needless to say, Monday morning was a disaster. Everyone was groggy and Roo was downright aggressive. He had a complete tantrum after breakfast, which is highly unusual for him.
Yesterday, I decided to try a couple of tips I’d read about how to manage ADHD morning problems, and they really worked! In fact, we actually got some of our homeschool lessons done.
So, I’m passing them on today in the hopes that they’ll help any of you who have a hard time with your kids in the morning.
Image: Kzenon / Dollar Photo Club
Disclaimer: While this post contains information about diet and nutrition, this content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.
How to Minimize ADHD Morning Problems
Let the kids set the tone in the morning.
It’s important that kids with ADHD get a good night’s sleep if they’re going to function the next day. So, if your kids have a late night or if they’re unusually groggy, don’t insist that they get up and run at full strength. Trust me, it will end in disaster.
Try to include a bit of flexibility in your daily routine for mornings like this. Instead of using hard and fast times, try to implement a “block” schedule or an order of subjects or activities. This will keep the kids from being slaves to the clock. (We’ll talk more about this scheduling method in tomorrow’s post.)
Serve a protein-packed breakfast.
Unfortunately, most commercial breakfast foods are loaded with sugar. This is unhealthy for all of us, but it is particularly dangerous for kids with ADHD. Since the ADHD brain tends to struggle with executive function, it’s already difficult for those of us who have it to focus and complete an assignment.
When we eat a lot of sugar, especially first thing in the morning, our distractibility, irritability, and hyperactivity become worse. The best way to start the day is with plenty of protein at breakfast. Foods such as lean meats, legumes, and nuts are excellent sources of protein and can make it easier for the brain to focus.
Try physical activity before beginning school.
Physical activity and ADHD go hand in hand. Getting physical exercise early in the day is a great way for overactive minds to gain some clarity. If you typically have P.E. in the afternoon, try to move it to the morning, especially if you’ll be teaching a subject that requires sustained focus such as math.
Or you can do what I did yesterday: Replace P.E. with household chores. Before breakfast, the kids did laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. Two for the price of one! 🙂
Do you struggle with your kids’ morning routine? How do you manage ADHD morning problems? Let us know in the comments!
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Plus, get more tips for managing ADHD in the family on my ADHD Tips Pinterest board!