People with ADHD often have trouble with certain skills, such as time management, working memory, staying on task, planning, and organization. These also happen to be the exact same skills needed to make, maintain, and follow routines. Because creating routines helps strengthen these important facets of human behavior, it’s crucial for children, teens, and adults with ADHD to have routines in place in their life that they can learn and master over time.
If you’ve enrolled your child in an ADHD boarding school, they will have a regimen to follow each day. This might include going to classes at a certain time or following a standard procedure in the lunchroom. As a parent, you can help your child with ADHD learn how to best manage their day by implementing routines at home.
Kids Need Structure
There are many reasons that children who attend ADHD boarding schools thrive with routine. This is because they know what to expect, and the routine becomes a long-term action that’s committed to memory. Structure also provides children with a sense of safety and security, which can help them better focus on other areas where they need improvement.
The Benefits Of A Schedule
It is not simply enough to write a schedule down. For it to be effective for a child with ADHD, it must be followed each day. Routines help make life manageable, and your entire family will experience less stress if there’s no question about what happens next.
Morning, Noon, And Night
Teenagers that attend ADHD boarding schools have a strict regime they follow each day. However, if your child is not yet boarding school age, a few things you can do in the morning are to turn off the news once the kids are up, have a healthy breakfast, and get everyone started on brushing teeth and grabbing lunch boxes.
In the afternoons, make sure that your children have a set schedule for homework. While you might want to give them half an hour to wind down after a hectic day, enforce a set homework start time. Since children with ADHD have trouble concentrating and staying on task, you’ll want to stick close by to gently direct their attention back to their homework when needed. Give them a few breaks, and make sure that your children have something to look forward to, such as a quick dip in the swimming pool or an episode of their favorite TV show, when they’re done with their homework.
Nighttime presents special challenges for children with ADHD, especially younger kids who may be exhausted and cranky by dinnertime. Use your time around the table to listen to your children and communicate with each other. This is also a great time to discuss any potential changes to the next day’s schedule. After dinner, plan for some downtime so the children can be ready for bed at their appointed hour.
Bedtime routines should consist of hygiene (brushing teeth, washing hair), comfy pajamas, storytime, and whatever else your child needs to settle their mind and body.
Ultimately, routines are a great addition to every family's day. However, when you have a child with ADHD, routines do more than just keep you on schedule. They can help your child develop skills that will help them throughout their lifetime.
Currey Ingram Academy is an ADHD boarding school located just south of Nashville in the suburb of Brentwood. For more information, visit us online or call the admission office for more insight.
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