The start of a new school year can be a stressful time for kids and families. There are a few simple things you can do to help prepare and reduce the amount of stress for you and your kids.
Kids with ADHD thrive on three things structure, consistency and, routine. Rather than wait for the school year to begin start your morning and evening routine the week before to avoid the mad dash out the door and everything that comes with it.
Whether they are catching the bus or getting a drive with you estimate how much time they’ll need to be ready in the morning and set your alarm accordingly. Starting this process early allows you to adjust wake up times if necessary.
Establishing a routine for bedtime is equally as important. Figure out when bedtime will be during the school year and then work backwards to determine how much time can be allotted for play, homework, supper, chores, etc.
Our minds don’t just shut off so please remember kids with ADHD need time to process the day’s events. I recommend allowing kids to read or draw/color for 30 minutes before lights out when age appropriate. Spend part of the 30 minutes with them and ask if they have any questions about anything that happened during the day that they would like to talk about.
This time together should be considered safe time. Allow your kids to speak freely without fear of consequence. Take the time to answer their questions thoughtfully and if you don’t know the answer it’s okay to say, “I don’t know” but commit to finding out and getting back to them the following evening.
Shawn Smith M.Ed., CCC
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