Happier Mornings for ADHD Households

Make-over your morning! Our expert tips can help children with ADHD, and even their parents, get up and out the door on time — every time.

Your ADHD Morning Survival Plan, Part 2

Give your brain time to wake up before you get out of bed.

If you take stimulant ADHD medication in the morning, keep your pills in a bedside drawer and a glass of water on your nightstand, so you can take one before getting out of bed. Some people take the pill upon waking, then spend another 20 minutes or so in bed. You can set the snooze alarm and doze off again — or simply relax.

Be sure you're out of bed at least 30 minutes before it's time to wake the kids. Steal a few moments for yourself. Scan the newspaper. Gaze at the birds in the back yard. Once your children are up, you may be able to enjoy an actual conversation with them, rather than simply yelling, "Hurry up, it's time to go!"

Maintain a ready supply of grab-and-go breakfast foods.

No matter how carefully you plan your morning routine, there will be days when you and your children are running behind schedule. When that happens, it helps to be able to go to a single drawer or cabinet in your kitchen to find bread, cereal, syrup, coffee, sugar, tea, mugs, bowls, and so on.

In addition to maintaining a "breakfast drawer," it's a good idea to keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with nutritious, easy-to-grab foods. Some favorites include: orange juice, protein bars, low-fat muffins, bananas, hard-boiled eggs, single-serving cartons of yogurt, and individually wrapped mozzarella sticks.

Aim to get the kids to school and head to work ahead of schedule.

Sounds impossible, I know. But think about it: If your child's school or your employer announced that your day would begin 15 minutes earlier than usual, you'd make the adjustment somehow.

Last-minute departures make your commute not only more stressful but also more dangerous. When you cut things too close, getting stuck behind a bus or missing a green light tempts you to make up for lost time by darting into another lane or speeding through a yellow light.

But if you've got 10 minutes to spare, you can go with the flow in the carpool lane and get to work with your peace of mind intact.

This article appears in the August/September 2006 issue of ADDitude.
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TAGS: Organization Tips for ADD Adults, ADHD Time Management,

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