How to Keep Organized on School Mornings

Most parents agree: Weekday mornings are the worst! How do you get kids with attention deficit dressed, fed, organized, and out — without compounding the chaos?

A boy is unable to wake up in the morning, a condition common to children with adhd.
A boy is unable to wake up in the morning, a condition common to children with adhd.

ADDitude asked: How do you keep things calm and organized on school mornings?

> With four school-aged children, three of whom have ADHD, and four puppies running around, it is anything but calm in the morning. It works better to organize things the night before, but I often crash at the end of the day and I am too tired to accomplish much in the evenings. -Kathy, Illinois

> I put my son’s clothes out the night before on the couch downstairs. We wake him up, tell him to get dressed and to take his medicine. My husband takes him to school. -An ADDitude Reader

> Routine, routine, routine! -Tonya Koskelin, Marshall, Wisconsin

> We are fortunate that our boys are on different schedules. We get our boy, who has ADHD, out first, then wake the other one up. -Terry Redwine, Knoxville, Tennessee

[Free Resource: Routines for Morning and Night]

> We lay everything out the night before — clothes, shoes, backpack, homework. This way he doesn’t have to make any big decisions in the morning. -Tamara Bernard, Wichita, Kansas

> I give him a checklist of tasks to follow. He checks off each one as he does it. The last one is to sit and read quietly until Mom is ready to go. That’s the most important one. -Tara Herlocher, New York, New York

> I get him up 30 minutes earlier than he has to be. I have his breakfast and his meds waiting. After he eats, I let him go back to sleep for 30 minutes. When I wake him up the second time, the medicine is working and mornings are super-smooth. -Sandy, Austin, Texas

> Once my daughter began wanting to go to school, our mornings changed. -Sandy, Iowa

[Rise and Sigh: Morning (and Evening) Routines to Reinforce Calm]

> I get up an hour earlier than everyone else in our home and make sure that everything is organized and laid out for them. I have been scolded by my friends for doing all of this, but when you are the only one of four people in a house who does not have ADHD, this is the easiest way to keep things organized. -Regina Hart, Hope Mills, North Carolina