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ADHD in Boys

Mornings- is this normal?

First of all, my 9 y/o DS gets up at the CRACK of dawn every day.  Gets dressed and brushes his teeth without being asked.  Great!  Right?

Right- but then as soon as he’s done with those steps above, he is OUT OF CONTROL.  I don’t know how else to say it.  He’s extremely impulsive right away.  Grabbing at things, people (me), swatting me on the hind end, rummaging for food and trying to sneak snacks, etc.  I am trying to get ready myself for work and get my 6 year old (who is not such a morning person) up and moving.  I think this morning, he had eaten 3 Twizzlers pull and peels before I found out.  He had also grabbed 2 cuties and was munching on the 2nd.  He knows he can only have breakfast items in the morning.  The twizzlers were hidden on top of the fridge, but he found them and had them downed in less than 4 minutes. 
Things coming out of his mouth are just random- inappropriate, just wild. 
Does anyone else experience this with ADHD in their kiddo?  Or do you think I’m battling something else altogether?


Don’t keep junkfood

Posted by Maceystars on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:02am

Is he on medication for ADHD?  If he is maybe its worn off and he is hungry again. My son eats very little until his medication has worn off. They he makes up for it. Also he seems to know what he needs to do in the morning before free time. Sounds like he is very responsible. Maybe the withdrawal from medication and the chance to relax from school and responsibility causes the extra impulsiveness.

Posted by leslie 1 on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:05am

Ditto to what Maceystars said… get rid of the junk food.

My DS9 is also up at the crack of dawn, but his vice is computer games. Since he is compliant and not disruptive with his morning routing, I allow it. He needs to be reminded to step away from the computer to go brush his teeth and get dressed, but generally needs only one reminder and does as he is told.

Fyi he’s combined type and not on any medication.

Posted by OopsForgotAgain on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:38am

My 8 yr old son diagnosed with combined ADHD and ODD ( possibly other disorders not yet diagnosed ) and on Vyvanse is most mornings a terror until his meds kick in with behavior that you are describing as well! I have tried so many things to try and help him with his behaviors and meltdowns but not much is working yet! We are consistent and he knows the rules to but acts as though they don’t apply to him! So you are not alone in this.

Posted by ADHDMoooM on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:54am

We have a pretty good routine in the morning and my son does well but it is the snacking when he gets home from school that is a problem. A doctor told me that kids with ADHD are often hypoglycemic and need to eat/snack frequently.  My son has climbed the cabinets to get to the marshmallows or snacks and is then full for dinner. He has now gained a lot of weight so I have thrown out everything in the house that is not healthy for him. Snacks are fruit or peanut butter on celery or apples dipped into peanut butter. He wants the sugar but I have finally cleaned out all sugar items from the house.
Also, I just learned that when my son takes his medicine in the morning that he should NOT take it with juice (citrus)….it reduces the effectiveness of the medication. Who knew?  The verbal comments and defiance is a part of my daily challenge as well. Good luck.

Posted by Willingandable on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:09pm

oh @2boys4me, how well I know your plight. My son will gorge on any sweets in the house in the morning. He finds them like a bloodhound. We starting hiding stuff in our bedroom and he’d still get to it, in the afternoon when no one is looking. My son is difficult to get dressed and ready too though, so I’m envious of that.

You don’t say if your son takes ADHD medication, but I’ve found this morning behavior to be much worse on certain medications. Not sure why and his doc can’t explain it either.

No junk food in the house is not possible around here, because my husband feels compelled to have it as well (chips, soda, and cookies). I limit the junk my kids can have, and I think that fuels my son’s compulsion to sneak, but I feel strongly against processed foods.

If he is on medication, talk to his doctor about a possible modification or change. If not, you might consider medication, because it can help with impulsivity. Although mornings are hard before medication takes effect.

We tried a breakfast basket for a while and had pretty good results (not sure why we stopped actually). I put a basket on the kitchen counter with lots of foods he can choose from and he knows those are acceptable. I think you need a reward plan to make that truly override impulsivity on a regular basis though.

You are not alone—many of us battle this behavior daily.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:31pm

Well- I feel the need to explain the twizzlers comment.  Probably not my best example- as we don’t often have that in the house- it was a special family movie night weekend and so we had some.  But I think some of you got what I intended to say- which was how impulsive he is.  It doesn’t matter WHAT it is- healthy or not.  This morning he woke when I was in the shower, I came out and found bran muffin papers on the coffee table.  Dense, homemade bran muffins.  And he had the whole container of blueberries and was gobbling them down like there was no tomorrow.  He eats a lot in the pm and a lot first thing in the am.  Which I am okay with, as he is medicated and doesn’t eat much during the hours of 7:30-3:30. So the food is the food, but more than anything he is just hyper beyond belief.  He will run outside and yell up and down the driveway- just nonsense.  He will as I said, grab at me, swat me on the butt- try to say anything to get a rise out of me.  I usually ignore the attempts to get a rise out of me because I don’t want to give him that pleasure.  We try to ignore the behavior and scoot him along to get ready for school.  Not sure what else to do.  When he acted like this so extremely before, they thought it was his SSRI which can often cause this.  So he is no longer on an SSRI but instead is on nortriptyline for his anxiety/depression.  It is to the point where his 6 y/o brother says “mom, please give him his pills”... because he can’t stand the craziness either.  And of course the focalin takes almost an hour to kick in these days.  I can’t give it too early before school or it runs out too early. 
Anyway- thanks for the thoughts- I’m happy I’m not alone… I will continue to keep good breakfast items around and just be prepared to get LOTS because he will eat a ton at a time.  As far as the other impulsive behavior, I guess I will talk to his specialist at the next appointment.  I just hate all the medication and i hate to change things around if he’s doing well in school.  I just wish I could cure him.  He tells me his brain goes so fast that he can’t stop it.  I believe him…

Posted by 2boys4me on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:53pm


I urge you to talk to his prescribing doctor about this. My son only experienced that kind of super-hyperactivity on certain medications. It could very well be worth it to try a different medication.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 26, 2014 at 5:55pm


I agree with checking on his meds. 

I also have read, as I’m sure you have as well, that high protein diets do wonders on our little ones.  I have had many a frank convo with my 10 boy about how he feels when he eats certain foods.  We even did an experiment one long weekend.  I let him anything and everything he wanted for two days.  No holes barred.  By Monday (thank Heavens a school holiday) he felt like crap.  Very impulsive, pissed off, trying to be funny but only making others mad.  It was horrible but the experiment worked. 

Just like your boy mine wakes up starving (he eats a huge dinner).  I have very specific things he can have.  So far so good.  On the weekends I do allow some surgery cereals but school days everyone in the house has to eat what the ADHDer is eating. 

Good luck!

Posted by liannasr on Feb 26, 2014 at 9:50pm

Personally, I think a med rebound is responsible for late evening PM periods of real craziness in my daughter, and perhaps the AM period in your son too.  I know it well:  Screaching voice, literal bouncing, non-stop talking, hyper-focus on some minute little toy or something her sister did that will irritate her to no end.  Eating too, ice cream, bagels, strawberries, beef jerky, popcorn, etc.
For me, as long as she is reaching for healthy or at least semi-healthy snacks I let her eat as much as possible (skinny-mini) since she basically does not eat a lunch during the school day.  It just sounds like you need a little affirmation that these are indeed real symptons and that the Moms & Parents here have similar issues.  I give you and your sons an electronic hug ((())) and I know in my heart it will get better one day when they are strong, capable adults because of the love we gave them.

Posted by Suxie on Feb 27, 2014 at 12:34am

Hi - my son is 13. To help with this am “craziness” we had my son take his medicine as soon as he wakes up. He is also an early riser. At that time We were getting up about 45 min after him and found that seemed to help. We also went through a period where we had to wake him up about 1 hr before his usual wake time, give him his pill, and then let him go back to sleep. That too worked for awhile.  I agree with first checking in with the doc about these symptoms reviewing when he gets his doses,.

I wonder if he’s getting enough sleep also? I know my son has gone through some periods where he was wild in the mornings, more irritable than usual, etc and after a few days of this I would decide to move up his bedtime a little and lo and behold even though he fought it he was asleep in 2 minutes. Kids don’t usu display fatigue by being sleepy like adults, they usually get more wound up - go figure! Or if he’s logging enough hrs but is not rested in the am - which these behaviors could be a sign of- then you might want to talk with an ENT- preferably a pediatric one. If he snores or moves around a lot at night in bed, sleepwalks, has large tonsils or adenoids etc he may have sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing or periodic limb movement disorder all of which can rob someone of getting sufficient restorative sleep.

As for the food - we have had periods of time over the years where we had to keep all junk food under lock and a key. We moved all junk food to a steel cabinet in our garage that has a lock only his dad and I know where the key is.

I have threatened to lock the freezer as well (ice cream) but he’s been much better lately. Part of that is because we got really tough about enforcing consequences consistently. He knew if I counted the ice cream sandwiches in the morning and one was missing he would lose electronics for the day. We of course talked to him ahed of time to explain why we had to do this.

I hope things get better soon!

Posted by Udderlycrazy on Feb 27, 2014 at 6:42am

My son also does the waking hours of “butt crack of dawn” & also is super hungry ad he could eat the whole house except the kitchen sink! LOL!  We too try not to buy “sugar” items also BUT on certain occasions or holidays ie: Valentine’s, Christmas or birthdays. I have hidden those particular items (out of sight, out of mind) but the stinker had found them by snooping.

He is on Concerta 27 mg and I try to give him his medication ASAP in the am o/w he does say mean things, slaps me on bottom too (does in public too & drives me nuts), antagonizes his sister to the point of her crying in am (& also any other time he feels necessary to do so). He yells, she yells then I end up yelling to get them to quiet down…never ending battle. Other occurences happen too, not just listed above.

But if he wakes before her and has his meds in him, some breakfast and he goes and plays with legoes or something else then the day turns out fine and not really any problems.

Posted by momofadd/adhder on Mar 03, 2014 at 7:30pm

New here, what’s up with the butt smacking?!? My 6 y/O does that, too!! Drives me nuts and he still does it after I lectured him about how inappropriate it is.
Why do they do it?!?

Posted by Just for today on Mar 27, 2014 at 9:06am

My son does the same…early am sugar gorge. Knows we aren’t up, we find wrappers all over the place. Sounds like his meds are no longer working? My son went from fine with one med to seeming like it didn’t work at all, over night.

Posted by Starla571 on Apr 24, 2014 at 7:40am

my sons early morning craving is kit kat bars.  We keep them in house as we were/are trying to keep up his weight.  On weekends, I will come downstairs to find within minutes he has eaten 2 already.  Rest of the day….no real sugar cravings ........never even eats birthday cake (even his own this past weekend!), but those kit kats! lol

I am just trying to roll with it as I stress over so much other stuff with him.  He knows he has to drink a glass of milk upon rising each day…...and I am just trying to limit the weekend am kit kat to 1!

Posted by curlygirl on May 27, 2014 at 8:12pm

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