Tips for parents

Setting Stability: The Vital Role of Routine for Children with ADHD

Understanding ADHD and the Power of Routine

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) presents unique challenges for both children and parents alike. It is not only the tendency to be distracted, but it also influences how a child plans, organizes, and proceeds with the tasks. But amidst this challenge lies a beacon of hope: the regularity or habit. Now, lets explore why routine is not only advantageous but also a must for children with ADHD and how parents can make it work for them.


Understanding ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Imagine a child trying to navigate through a constantly shifting sea of distractions – that’s the everyday reality for a child with ADHD. Tasks that may seem simple to others become more difficult for them. However, it’s crucial to understand that ADHD is not a sign of low intelligence or capability; it’s simply a difference in how the brain processes information and regulates attention.



The Power of Routine

The routine is a stabilizing factor in the complex world of ADHD. It gives structure, a predictable life, and a feeling of safety which in turn, results in less anxiety. When tasks become routine and are done automatically, they require less cognitive effort, allowing the child to conserve mental energy for more demanding activities. In addition, routines are a must because they’re good for regulating emotions, lowering stress, and creating a feeling of mastery and accomplishment.


Creating a Routine

Now, let’s explore how you can create an effective routine for your child:

  1. Establish Consistency:

Designate specific times for waking up, eating meals, doing homework, and going to bed, and try to follow them as much as you can. Regularity builds a sense of familiarity, hence it is easier for children to predict what is going to happen next.


  1. Break Tasks into Manageable Steps:

Complex tasks can be overwhelming for children with ADHD. Divide them into smaller, easier steps and celebrate the success of eac. This not only helps to avoid overwhelm but also increases their confidence and motivation. Here is an example:

  • You might want to just say “clean up your room”, instead say, “Let’s start by picking up your toys and putting them in the basket.” This provides a clear and specific action for the child to focus on. Once they’ve completed that step, you acknowledge their accomplishment and praise them for their effort. This recognition helps to boost their confidence and motivation.
  • Next, you might say, “Great job with the toys! Now let’s fold your t-shirts.” Again, you’re providing a specific task for the child to focus on, rather than overwhelming them with the entire room cleaning process at once. After they’ve folded their t-shirts, you praise them for their hard work and progress.
  • Finally, you might say, “Now, let’s put the folded t-shirts in the closet.” By breaking down the task into smaller steps and celebrating each accomplishment along the way, you’re helping the child to stay focused, motivated, and less overwhelmed by the task at hand. This approach not only makes the task more manageable for children with ADHD but also teaches them valuable skills in breaking down tasks and staying organized. You can do the same with any task you wish your kid to complete.
  1. Use Visual Cues:

Visual aids, such as charts, calendars, or checklists, are invaluable tools for children with ADHD. Theyprovide a clear, tangible representation of the routine and help reinforce concepts like time management and organization.
The use of images will help your kid understand what needs to be done at each stage of the routine, promoting independence and reducing the need for constant verbal reminders. Additionally, having a tangible representation of the routine can help them feel more in control and organized, reducing anxiety or stress they may feel about the morning tasks.


  1. Incorporate Rewards and Reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement goes a long way in shaping behavior. Offer praise, encouragement, or small rewards for following the routine and completing tasks. This creates a positive association with routine and motivates the child to stick with it.


  1. Flexibility within Structure:

While routine provides stability, it’s essential to allow room for flexibility. Life is unpredictable, and unexpected events will inevitably arise. Teach your child how to adapt to changes while still adhering to the core structure of the routine.
 Let them see that it’s okay to adjust plans when necessary to avoid frustrations and have open discussions with your child about the importance of flexibility and how unexpected events can sometimes disrupt routines. Brainstorm together how to handle such situations while staying on track with essential task.

In conclusion, now that you know routine is a must for children, especially those with ADHD. It empowers them to navigate life’s complexities more easily and confidently. By establishing a consistent, structured routine, you can provide your child with the tools they need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Remember, implementing a routine may take time and patience, but the rewards it yields are immeasurable. Embark on this journey with your child, armed with the power of routine, and watch them soar to new heights.  Additionally, consider the benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy in complementing routine-based interventions. ABA therapy can provide tailored support to address specific behaviors and skill development. If you’re interested in exploring how ABA therapy can benefit your child, don’t hesitate to contact us to start the eligibility process.