Ask the Experts

Q: My Child’s Morning Routine is So Slow — and Defiant

Does your child take forever in the morning? Require multiple reminders and loads of nagging? For many ADHD families, the morning routine is stressful and so very slow. Use this positive-parenting advice to motivate your child to improve his time management and executive functions before school.

Listen to “The Social Lives of Boys with ADHD”

Q: “My 9-year-old son’s ODD is really bad in the mornings. He has a really difficult time getting up and getting ready for school. He is extremely defiant and will go as slow as he can and refuse to get ready. We are often late. He has a hard time going to sleep at night, so trying to put him to bed early isn’t helpful. If we try to let him sleep as long as possible, this doesn’t give us time to complete everything in the mornings. Do you have any advice for making mornings go more smoothly and doing away with the defiance and being late?”

A: “What you might be seeing is that your son doesn’t have a sense of urgency — this is common because kids with ADHD have difficulty sensing the passing of time. If you have difficulty sensing the passing of time, you won’t be a rush to go anywhere. On top of that, if your parents are rushing you, that’s where the defiance comes in because it’s stressful… You need to incentivize his getting ready in the morning by allowing him to have a preferred activity for a set amount of time that morning if he’s successful…”


Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel. Ryan specializes in working with males (ages 5-22) who present with ADHD, anxiety with ADHD, and learning differences; he is the one professional in the United States who specializes in teaching social cognitive skills to boys from a male perspective.

Submit your questions about ADHD in boys here!