How to get my ADHD teens up for school????

[deleted account] ( 24 moms have responded )

My two kids (14 & 16) both have ADHD. My daughter has always been difficult to wake in the morning. More than once she has changed from her PJs to her clothes in the car in the school parking lot (no one could see as she was in the back-back-back of the minivan. My son was always good about getting up until this last year (hormones I guess). Too many times were they late to school this last year. They turn their alarms off & go back to sleep. I give them 15, 10 & 5 minutes warnings & they often go right back to sleep. They eat in the car on the way to school. I would LOVE for them to eat in the kitchen before we drive to school before their mediation suppresses their appetite, plus so they are more alert by the time I dropped them at school. I want to have some plans in place before they start school again in the fall. HELP!!

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[deleted account]

Hello Cindy! I have a 15 year old daughter that had ADD (inattentive type). She is very difficult to deal with and has been for years, especially in the morning. She will not get up in the morning, and my hubby has been dealing with her in the morning since she started High School. One thing that we were having trouble with is her taking her meds! I fonally told her that if she forgets her meds (even once!) that her cell phone will be taken away for 24 hours, and it has worked like a dream for over 3 months now! My kids also know that if they are not dressed before the car leaves the driveway, then they WILL go to school in their PJs! I really think that you can put your foot down with that one too. Explain to them that that is not an acceptable behavior. As an adult, you would not be able to dress in the car on yoru way to work! Starting in the fall (or when you prefer), they will go to school in the clothes that they have on when they get in the vehicle... period. Take away the clothes that they think that they are going to change into, and put them back in the house. You can do this with the breakfast problem too! If breakfast has not been consumed in the kitchen, before they get in the car, then they will not have it! I know that this sounds harsh, but trust me... stick to your guns and these behaviors will away. Your kids know that you will let them get away with their current behavior and will continue to do this until you put a stop to it. Best of luck to you! (Contact me again if you need too)

Carol - posted on 08/08/2009

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We were having a lot of problems not only waking up my 8 year old but keeping him focused on getting ready for school the last few years. About a month or two after he was put on medicine for his ADD/ADHD we told the Doctor that getting him up & around in the mornings had only gotten worse. She recommended that I give him his medicine about 30 minutes before I need to wake him. We tried that and it really seems to help. I just go in and I am able to gently wake him enough so he can sit up to take his pill and I let him go back to sleep. It has been wonderful to not have to yell or fuss at my son to keep him moving. Even his Teacher remarked that sometimes it was taking 30 minutes or longer for the medicine to kick in so he could focus and not be a distraction and after I started giving the medicine earlier he was ready to focus as soon as he got to school. I know it has helped our whole family to not have to hear all the fussing and be rushed so much just to get up and going. I was afraid when the Doctor first recommended it that he wouldn't eat his breakfast if I gave him his medicine that early and of course weight is always a concern but I found he actual ate better!!
I think it's great that you are able to put your teenagers to bed at a good time because we have found that it can make a big difference whether or not our child has a good day. Most people think teenagers don't need as much sleep but I think all kids no matter the age need as much sleep as possible especially if ADD/ADHD is an issue. I hope you find what works for you and your family!

Beth - posted on 06/12/2009

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I see that I forgot to mention that I actually give him coffee while he's still in bed! I know, I know, it sounds incredibly enabling and spoiling, but you have my word that I'm not that way. It's just that I've learned to take every issue as they come and I'm already making a full pot for hubby and I so it's not like I'm going out of my way to do this just for him. Although if it means an easier morning for us and no tardies I probably would. My goal is to help him succeed high school and then we'll take college as it comes. I wake not only myself but five other people in my house,but as a child and teenager I was very hard to wake up! Okay,thats all...I think! ; )

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Reni - posted on 09/19/2013

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I guess the best thing to do is to wake them up like 5.30 am in the morning every day and then by the time they come back from school they will be tired and go to bed early and then when it becomes a routine, they will have more time in the morning to do what they need to do. How can I get them up for 5.30 she is probably saying? you can take them to the bath and the bath water may be luke warm water will help wake them up properly. Say that you have made them a nice fruit drink to drink or something. Get their clothes ready the right before as I am sure you are doing already put them on a chair with their school bags and books. Bath them in the morning.. i prefer morning as ADHD are sensitive to the air and water and need the good ions in the water to penetrate their skin; this will give them like a form of vitamin boost. ADHD need to go on long long walks. So about 3 times a week after school, just walk for about 3 miles per time to wash off the historical energy stored in them accumulated from their ancestors hard work. The long walk will also be good for you too. I believe that ancestors (women) did the work of two people that is why adhd children have two lots of energy levels (we can see these things clearly in certain parts of west africa -dahomey women(genes still floating around west africa in different ethnic groups), greek amazons etc which are not necessarily useful in this current era as we have machinery and mass production etc scientists who don't understand these things call it Hyperactivity.

http://keypoints-dictionary.com/category...

Caroline - posted on 08/11/2010

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I found a tutoring program that specializes in ADD/ADHD. They were really helpful in placing a tutor that fit my child's needs. They have a visual way of teaching. Hope this is helpful: www.mommyalertadhd.com

Ardeliah - posted on 08/12/2009

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My son also has mild asthma so he gets a cup of coffee every now and then too. The doctor said it could help to stave off the mild attacks he gets sometimes.

Carol - posted on 08/08/2009

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P.S. I forgot to say something concerning adding caffeine. You may want to check with your Doctor concerning this because I know with the type of medication my son is on the Doctors have told us to try to avoid added sugar and especially caffeine. The medication is already a stimulate and with the addition of caffeine & added sugars it can be too much. It may be different with the type of medication your child takes but I know the side affects can be sleeplessness, emotional outburst, ringing in ears and bloody noses. Each child is different so it may not effect your child negatively. I hope it all works out for you guys as the new school year starts up!

Dana - posted on 08/07/2009

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You allow this!! I'm sorry but shame on you! What are you teaching these kids? That the boss will let them get away with this. You are just being the "nice mom" you should wonder why. I'm sorry that you have to be harsh to your kids and tell them to get out of bed But I cannot believe you allow them to dress in the car. I have ADHD as does my 19yr old daughter. We have done very well with no meds as long as we pay attention to what is going on. I think you have read too many books on the bad side of ADHD. Please feel free to contact me I'd love to help you.. But what you are doing is sending the wrong message.. you are enabling the problem

User - posted on 08/06/2009

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Cindy, maybe she is lacking essential vitamins! Also low iron causes tiredness. Just a suggestion.

Alisa - posted on 08/06/2009

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I like everything you expressed and I also agree to the tough love. My only problem is I'm not the disciplinary type. When I do reach the point where I've had enough, they will get with it...most of the time.My son is late to school and the sad part is that I live next door to the schooL. Sometimes he doesn't swollow his pill when I give it to him.When that happens, I feel like I do now. All I can do is thank God for holding me up, because I just want to give up. Although I know I won't. I'm so hurt tonight. Thanks for sharing your experience and I will give it a try starting right now,

Janice - posted on 06/30/2009

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Well, this may shock you all - seeing as I think people mostly don't like to medicate unneccessarily - but I took my 11 yr old son to a new specialist a few weeks ago (the specialist is also ADHD!!). He showed us a video of a (exaggerated) morning scenario, with a kid who just cannot get moving in the morning. He asked if our mornings were like that, which they pretty much were. My son just couldn't get out of bed, couldn't get dressed, couldn't do much of anything, without constant monitoring. The specialist has now prescribed 10 mg (which has since been halved to 5 mg) of ritalin that my husband administers at around 5 am - so that by the time I need to get my son up for school, he is able to do everything he needs to do. I cannot tell you what a difference it has made. He is now fully 'functional' when I wake him up. No more yelling all the time from me. We start our days off so much more positively - it is just unbelievable!!!

Cheryl - posted on 06/29/2009

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My daughter, Heather (13), has a horrible time getting up as well. For some reason it has helped her to set the alarm on her cell phone for 1/2 hour before she needs to get up and she gets out of bed to turn it off and then she goes back to bed/sleep for 1/2 hour and her grandfather calls her when she has to get out of bed and she gets up much easier. She is simply not a morning person at all.

Michelle - posted on 06/13/2009

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My (almost) 14 year old son gets up okay in the mornings but moves like a snail after that. We have him eat first, then immediately following breakfast, he takes a 30 mg long acting Ritalin for his ADD. It's constant nagging by both my husband and myself for him to get dressed and brush his teeth. We'll find him sitting in his room staring off into space, daydreaming. I hadn't thought of offerring him coffee (with lots of milk) but my concern is this... Since he hasn't gone through puberty yet and is so small for his age, I am worried about stunting his growth more. I reallly enjoyed everyone's suggestions to Beth. Does anyone have suggestions for me? My kids wear uniforms to school so letting him go to school in his pjs is not an option (plus he only sleeps in his boxers-even in the winter).

[deleted account]

Beth - I think I may try that for my daughter, who already likes coffee (though I have always given her decaf at home). I have to admit I have thought about it before, just never did it. Actually, it's how we wake up my step-daughter when she visits from out of state. ;-) The kids love to bring her coffee in bed. ;-)

Beth - posted on 06/12/2009

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Okay, now I'm going to sound like a horrible mother, but I've been giving my son a cup of coffee in the morning(mostly milk) and he's been doing somewhat better. I hate to get him started on this, but he probably comsumes WAY more caffine while hanging out with his friends. Anyhow, schools out for us on the 23rd and I can hardly wait! So hopefully you'll get a nice rest also over the summer and start the new school year with a refreshed body,soul and mind. Take Care! Beth : )

[deleted account]

Beth - thank you for your words. I too feel that they have enough to deal with in the "real world" - having ADHD make school and friendships so much harder, I feel I have to be their help & support while I can, while also letting them know that when they are on their own, I will not be there to wake them, or whatever else it is I may do to help. My son struggles with depression when he's overwhelmed and/or failing a class, so I have no desire to have him be tardy so much he needs to go to summer school. When they start college, they can take later classes. They can even get night jobs after college if their inner clock stays this way. It's hard enough for any teenager to leave for school by 7:10, but even tougher for ADHD kids. Hence the reason I am looking for suggestions. In regards to their sleep, their school night bedtime is 9:00, earlier than any of their friends, and I give them melatonin so that they can actually fall asleep within a reasonable time (before that, they would lay in bed until 11 or later).

For those who have suggested the "tough love" approach, I understand it, and I do use it on some things, but getting to school on time, as well as eating breakfast, is NON-NEGOTIABLE as far as I am concerned, so I was looking for suggestions to get them up and going in the morning.

Cidalia - posted on 06/09/2009

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One more thing... remind your kids about the snooze button, instead of shutting off the alarm. I myself cannot jump out of bed first thing. Make sure the alarms are set for a little bit earlier than the time they actually have to get up. I have to smack the snooze button a few times. I even set my alarm clock time 5 minutes ahead. Also post a reminder list for them for the night before with what they need to have ready (homework, lunch packed, clothes ready, alarm set). I know it's harder with ADHD kids, but aside from giving them some helpful guidelines, if you do it all for them, they will never manage on their own.

Cidalia - posted on 06/09/2009

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They have you to help them get up? (I'm chuckling here). At that age, I had to set my own alarm, get up myself (no reminders from my mom ... she was sleeping in), and get myself ready and get myself to school (by public transit... 2 buses). If I didn't get up in time, I had to suffer the consequences at school... so that didn't happen very often. On top of that, I had to make sure my school clothes were ready even if that meant doing laundry the night before and had to pack my own lunch. My mom coddled my brothers more than me, and now in their 20s and 30s they have spent most of their lives living at home where mommy still does their laundry and packs their lunches, so I see for myself the difference.

Make sure to at least implement a lights out policy by a certain time (of course, it will be a little bit later for teens), and then let them take care of getting up and getting ready... they're old enough now (I know.. it's hard).

Beth - posted on 06/08/2009

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Me again! I have to say that the tough love approach has never worked for me or my children! It's tough enough having to live your life with adhd, but to do so without the appropriate guidance or help from parents is cruel. My mom took the tough love approach and I made some horrble life changing desicions due to my lack of judgment and impulsivity. I'm all for accountability, but a child who struggles needs that extra help alot of the time until they are able to do it on thier own. : )

Beth - posted on 06/08/2009

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I'll keep an eye on this post to see if anyone has any ideas because I struggle with this same thing. My son is 16 and used to get up by himself with his alarm clock,but since the begining of the year he has not and has gotten so many tardies that he needs to go to credit completion in order to pass 10th grade! I have four other children and I'm able to get them off okay,but my oldest is a bear and he actually punched a hole in his wall a few weeks ago due to morning grumpies,so I'm really looking fwd to this summer and hope next school season is a bit easier. Good luck and take care!!

Alison - posted on 06/05/2009

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Julia, you are so awesome! The fact that you are willing to send your kids to school in their pj's is super courageous and shows that you are concerned with helping your kids and not with what people think of you as a parent.



Cindy, you are obviously a very loving and devoted mom and you children are very fortunate for that. However, it sounds like YOU are taking a lot of responsibility for your kids' actions. When my ADHD husband was that age, he at times missed the bus and had to hitch-hike to school! He had no parents holding his hand, (which has other consequences) and he learned to find his own solutions.



It is not your job to litterally get your kids out of bed. I think enforcing fair consequences is the logical way to go. You have other things to do than to tickle toes and bring breakfast in bed.



Keep in mind that teenagers need a lot of sleep. Do you think your kids are going to bed too late. Are they too stimulated in the evenings (computer, tv, etc.). If so, working on the evening routine may have repercussions on the morning routine...



It's great that you are already thinking about the next school year. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Thanks for the suggestions!! My kids HAVE to eat before they go to school. They are on Vyvanse, and have no more weight to lose, hence the reason I have allowed them to eat in the car. However, my daughter would probably be motivated to get dressed if I imposed "no changing in the car". She was actually starting to dress the night before so she would not have to change in the morning! (Which I thought was quite creative)



I know that I have to institute the "tough love" approach. I guess I just get tired of it. :-P I get torn between "let them deal with the consequnces" of getting up late (which is easier for me, but doesn't work well because they don't care if they are late or not), and the "tough love" approach of making them get up no matter what because it's what needs to get done (which is tougher on me & makes for an unpleasant morning.)



Any ideas of how to actually get them out of bed? I've tried tickling, water bottles, even breakfast in bed. Dad is really good at yelling at them, but I hate to start the day like that. What has worked for you? Rewards? Punishments/Consequences? I'm tired of spending 10-15 minutes each to get them out of bed.

Vicki - posted on 06/03/2009

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I agree with Julia. Natural consequences, enforced by the parent works wonders. I also enjoyed your story. Julia.



Life with ADHD is more challenging, so sometimes we want to smoothe the way for our kids, but we can't cover for them. Why should they learn to do for themselves, when they can manipulate their friends or parents into doing for them?



It's a bit like the tough love you hear peole with addictions talk about.

Alisa - posted on 06/01/2009

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I have the same problem with my 12 year old son, he is late most of the time & he has missed school for absolutly no reason. I am in contact with the attendence officer @ the school, and if he has to he will come to my home. Today he just spoke to him on the phone and my son did get his self together & went to school. I'm not too sure if I have been helpful, but you are not alone. I look at my son's situation different due to the fact that he takes medication and maybe this may be a side effect.I pray everything get better for you.

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