Mom shares hacks for making sure her children with ADHD have a smooth morning
She pulls from her own experience with ADHD to help her kids.
Getting kids up and out the door in the mornings can be a struggle whether your children have ADHD or not. A lot of mornings, it feels like anything goes, from your kid waking up looking like they just fought a flock of wild geese in their sleep to them forgetting their left shoe in the refrigerator.
Why was their shoe in there to begin with? No one knows.
Having kids is committing to organized chaos at any given moment, while also accepting that sometimes the chaos isn't organized at all. It's just a free-for-all, and all the tiny humans look like different versions of you. But Tarah, who created the TikTok page @thatadhdlife, has come up with a solution to morning chaos that helps get her kids out of the house on time and ready for the day.
Tarah is neurodivergent and so are her three children. All four of them have ADHD, but it was Tarah's personal experience with ADHD as a child that helped inform the routine she created for her children.
The mom of three explained to Upworthy that she struggled as a child, and with her parents being divorced, she didn't always have the support she needed. Up until recently, her hacks for before-school chaos were just kept between her and her family.
"I was on a live video—I try to do them every Monday—I was explaining this story about how I saw a little boy who was late and running to school all out of breath," Tarah said. "The look on his face reminded me of little me. When I was a kid, I was always stressed and always late."
Im truly sharing this out of love because school mornings don’t have to be stressful. I’m not saying that you won’t occasionally have a couple flustered mornings once or twice a year but for the most part, it’s life changing. I had to do a part 2 because I talk too much when I’m passionate about something 🤣 #thatadhdlife #justcallmeT #adhdkidsbelike #adhdkidsareamazing #adhdschoolmornings #adhdschool #adhdroutines #adhdsystems
Instead of just watching the boy run as she rode her bike home, she tried to encourage him by shouting, "Take a deep breath, you're going to be just fine. You're going to make it." It was the boy's response of "I'm always late," that Tarah said broke her heart and prompted her to tell her followers the story. This then led to people expressing their own frustration with trying to get kids out of the house on time in the mornings, so Tarah decided to upload a video explaining her routine.
In the TikTok video, Tarah tells her followers that they need to first "reverse engineer" their morning by observing their child's day to see what's going wrong. She explains that this could be anything from them not being able to find their shoes to them not remembering to brush their teeth.
After providing examples and a few side quest stories that tie back into the point, Tarah explains her system, which surprisingly starts the day before. They check the weather in order to pick out clothes, then they pack their lunches and clean out their backpacks, all before bed. Tarah says she's been doing this routine since her oldest son, who is 15, was in kindergarten. But it wasn't always like that.
When her oldest child was in kindergarten he was struggling until the mom of three changed things up.
"I really realized with him that he loved when he learned things that became muscle memory, so I made things really hands-on and interactive. I knew I needed to thrive and not just survive," Tarah told Upworthy.
In the video, she explains how this routine she implemented years ago has helped her children be much less stressed in the mornings. Each child has their own version of the same routine based on their age. Parents in the comments were impressed with Tarah's system. Some even said they were taking notes for themselves even though they didn't have children.
Listen to Tarah's helpful tips below:
Replying to @thatadhdlife im just a neurodivergent momma who knew I wanted a different life for our neurodivergent kids. I promise it’s possible but this takes planning, persistence and patience. It’s never too late to start but just know that the older they are, the longer it’s going to take to become an intrinsic habit. Hold their hand through it until then and take a lot of deep breathes. You got this ❤️ ##thatadhdlife##justcallmeT##adhdschool##adhdschoollife##adhdschoolmornings##adhdsystems##nervoussystemregulation##nervoussystemhealing