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Parents of ADHD Children

Any ideas how to get 10 year old son ready for school?

I’m the mom of a wonderful 10 year old boy. He is a good boy, with challenges. One of the greatest of these is getting ready for school, and getting out of the house. I’am very organized and have all the thigs he needs to get ready, but he procrastinates way too much, leaving me exhausted and frustrated. Any ideas? I would welcome any comments! Thanks~


My son is 9 and was having same issue. I made it a game with incentives. Put a time to doing each task if he did it within that time frame he got points and points were towards a family game night or movie night . Sometimes I would even race him at getting dress or brushing teeth. Make it fun

Posted by Anthony18Mommy on Jan 22, 2014 at 6:41pm

I agree with the post above.  Make games out of activities, and aware points or poker chips for accomplishing things, and then trade the chips in for fun stuff!

You can award a daily prize if waiting ‘til the weekend is too far off, as it was for my son.  I had to do daily rewards.

I must say though, what helped the most was when I finally found a school that my son loves.  Even though he never admitted he was dragging his feet because he didn’t want to go before, he had issues there with teachers who didn’t know how to deal with A.D.D.  He has been at a school he LOVES for a year, and now I don’t have nearly as many problems in the morning. We are out the door on time just about every day.

I’m not saying change schools, but I’m saying that having things to look forward to rather than dreading what’s coming up is a big piece of the puzzle for our kids.  Make sure the school environment is everything you want it to be and talk to your son about any issues at school. It might help, along with the other suggestions. smile

Posted by JAMurphy on Jan 22, 2014 at 7:44pm

* award, not aware. smile

Posted by JAMurphy on Jan 22, 2014 at 7:46pm

First, if he likes to watch Cartoons or something before school tell him he has to be completely ready for school then he can watch cartoons. Ready for school has to be Spelled out on a Chart or something On wall he can see. 

You can also Figure out Other motivators-his electronics, basketball practice After school, saving for a toy he wants, staying up late, etc.- then tie it to one Of those. I found with my son ( 13 now) that at age 10 he still needed immediate rewards (or Consequences) at that age. Immediate for him was knowing when he came home Off the bus that day he would have 30 min video games no interruptions before he had to Start homework or unpack his Book bag. He also helped come up with that plan. The more often they can be involved with the plan the better it usually goes.

Also, try sitting him down and asking him why are mornings So hard to get motivated? I know my son is also better the earlier he takes his stimulant -I am the same way in the mornings! I am so much better when I take my medicine as soon as my eyes open!
Good Luck!

Posted by Udderlycrazy on Jan 22, 2014 at 7:52pm

I implemented much the same as @ConcernedMuM, but I gave an immediate reward. I laminated a checklist of the things he needed to do each morning to be ready for school. I put a paper clip on the side of it that pointed to the task he was on in the list. The last task said, If it’s before 7:20 am (20 minutes before leaving for school), you may watch TV or play video games. (See pic of it here:

The checklist he could carry with him and move the pointer down felt like a game, but the reward was immediate and something he loved, making him much more motivated to do it.

Keep working at a solution until you find something that motivates your particular child and works for your family.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 22, 2014 at 7:52pm

When it comes to video game time I made it in morning that way he goes to sleep on time and wakes up on his own and he gets ready all on his own so he can play before school it motivates him to get up and hurry

Posted by Anthony18Mommy on Jan 22, 2014 at 7:54pm

I did a similar thing as adhdmomma that worked really well for my kids (now 18), except I used a printed task list in a sheet protector that they could write on with a wipe-off marker.  They each had one for upstairs, and one for downstairs.  I also incorporated a timer, which went off a few minutes before time to leave for the bus.  the faster they did the things on their charts, the more time they had until the timer went off (natural award), AND, I would add that much time to their TV or video game privileges for the evening (or something else they wanted, and got to choose like a family game,nerf battle with Mom, etc.)  Letting them choose the daily reward gave them an investment in the process, and as they got older, they could “bank” their daily minutes for something later in the week if they wanted to.

Good luck!

Lynne Edris, ACG
Life & ADD Coach

Posted by ADD_Coach_Lynne on Jan 22, 2014 at 8:40pm

I know some people may disagree, but I see it more of a reward. If he is saving up to buy something, or likes to buy things (my daughter likes Pokemon cards), I would give her 25 cents if she would get downstairs by a certain time in the morning. I explained at the beginning how much she could make in a week, and then in a month, and suddenly it seemed like a lot of money, and it was real motivation.


Posted by lmneely on Jan 22, 2014 at 11:38pm

I think we all fall into the “how do we fix this” trap. I absolutely commiserate with you - morning is the most difficult time of the day. Meds aren’t kicked in and there is a time limit which our kids just can’t seem to grasp. But your guy is ten years old. If he had unlimited time, he could do everything to get himself ready. So I’d suggest training him for his future and let him come up with some ideas. How can “HE” get himself out the door on time?

Your job is to get him to school, his job is to be ready to go. Try some love and logic on him. If he’s running late “Oh, what a bummer. You don’t have time to pack your lunch so you’ll have to use your own money to buy something to eat today.” Or “Oh, that stinks. You ran out of time and now there’s no extra time to play your video game.”

When they own the problem, they are more likely to try and fix it. We make it too easy for them by running their lives like cruise ship directors. Why would I get up early when I know you’ll help me? Make it uncomfortable and he’ll be more likely to problem solve.

Posted by mom2-4 on Jan 23, 2014 at 5:40am

Hi. I read through many of your responses and I have to say that I agree with many of them. While my 9 y/old son does not respond well to the challenge of a point or reward system, I completely agree with making morning time fun. I find that if I do something funny to get his attention or make a game out of who can get everything done to be rightly ready to go in the morning, he responds well to that. I also let him choose easy breakfasts that I have ready to go and on hand. He’s often hungry in the morning before taking his Adderall. I am also very strict on his bedtime. I find the more sleep he gets, like most of us, he wakes up ready and willing to tackle another day.
Best if luck to you!

Posted by Jenmac43 on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:38am

My son is nine. Here is what I do.
1. We don’t start getting ready until his meds kick in. That means I give him his meds at least 30 minutes before its time to get up. An hour is better.

2. He does exactly the same thing every morning.

3. I make him dress in the living room so he isn’t tempted to go back to bed.

4. I give him a time limit (15 minutes).

5. I reward success. If he can get ready in 15 minutes; he can watch one 1/2 hour TV show before school.

6. I give consequences for failure. If he doesn’t get ready by the time the timer gives off; I revoke his media privileges.

Hope this information is helpful.
Susan in PCOH

Posted by SueH on Jan 23, 2014 at 8:10pm

I found a printout online & laminated it of tasks to complete before we leave in the mornings (same in the evenings). He uses a dry erase marker and marks these off. He actually enjoys it too because if he gets completed before the timer goes off he gets “free time” before we leave.

Posted by lola.g on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:08am

Consistent routine is a must. This helps create neural patterning ....a habit. Try Hey, You! App ....Get Up ...Get Dressed ... Get Going. I created it using the same techniques I used as a teacher to get children to learn anything that involved sequencing. Step-by-directions set to music make the task infectious fun and a game at the end to reward task completion.

Posted by Dr Mindy on Jan 24, 2014 at 5:54pm

My son loves his dog, and loves her in the car with him.  In the morning, I tell him that he must have everything done by 7:55am.  If he has it done our dog will ride in the car with us on the way to school.  If it is not done our dog does not go in the car.  It makes my son rush every morning without me saying anything except, “It’s almost 7:55.  If you’re not ready our dog isn’t coming with us.”

Posted by free2pink on Jan 25, 2014 at 10:38am

Maybe your son has a hard time with sense of time or gets overwhelmed because it seems like a jumbled mess to him. There is a free android app called “Am I Late”. It is a visual timer that and allows you to set how many minutes needed for each task that child needs to get ready. You can even time rewards like tv time. I make sure to give my son enough time to beat each task because if he doesn’t he has a meltdown (I love that he actually WANTS to beat it). My son just turned 9 and is inattentive type.

Posted by KidzyLuv on Jan 25, 2014 at 3:55pm

The first thing I would recommended is getting a Time Timer It counts down in red so my son can see the time going by. (i use this at the breakfast table)
Also, I used to give his meds at breakfast, but I really needed them to kick in earlier, so now first thing in the morning, when I go in to open his curtains, I give him his meds.
He also gets points for picking out his clothes the night before. He has several digital clocks in his room & a digital watch. He has to be downstairs & dressed at 7. If he does, he gets to watch a show. He has to finish his breakfast @ 7:20- he gets a point. He has to brush his teeth & shoes on 7:35. In the car 7:45. I feel like a drill sergeant, but is seems to work. 
hope you find this helpful

Posted by Akarinz on Jan 27, 2014 at 4:22am

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