20 November 2023

The Importance of Routines for ADHD Children: A Mom's Ideal Schedule

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green plant beside white wall tiles
green plant beside white wall tiles

In the ever-evolving world of parenting, raising children with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) can be particularly challenging. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a child's ability to focus, control their impulses, and manage their energy levels effectively. In the midst of this challenge, establishing and maintaining routines can be a game-changer, not only for the child but for the entire family. This article explores the crucial role of routines in the lives of children with ADHD, and from a mom's perspective, outlines an ideal daily schedule that can make a significant difference.

The Power of Routines for ADHD Children

ADHD is a multifaceted condition that affects various aspects of a child's life, including academics, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. While medication and therapy are often part of the treatment plan, establishing a structured routine is a fundamental and complementary strategy that can help children with ADHD thrive. Here's why routines are so vital:

Predictability and Stability

Routines provide a sense of predictability and stability that many children with ADHD crave. The regularity of a routine helps them know what to expect, reducing anxiety and stress. When children know what comes next, they are better prepared to handle transitions and changes.

Improved Time Management

Time management can be a significant challenge for children with ADHD. Routines help teach them the concept of time, planning, and prioritization. This skill is crucial not only in childhood but also as they grow into adulthood.

Task Organization

ADHD often leads to difficulty in organizing tasks and staying on top of responsibilities. A structured routine can break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, making it easier for children to focus and complete them.

Reduced Impulsivity

Routines can help children with ADHD learn to control their impulses and make better decisions. By following a schedule, they can practice delayed gratification, which is an essential life skill.

Enhanced Self-Esteem

Success breeds self-confidence. When children with ADHD consistently follow a routine and achieve their goals, they experience a boost in self-esteem. This can have a positive impact on their overall well-being.

Better Behavior and Emotional Regulation

Routine can help regulate emotions and behavior. Predictable schedules provide children with a structured environment that reduces potential triggers for impulsivity, meltdowns, and frustration.

Family Harmony

Incorporating routines into family life can lead to smoother daily interactions. It helps parents and siblings understand and empathize with the child's needs and challenges.

Enhanced Sleep Patterns

Sleep is essential for all children, but especially so for those with ADHD. A consistent bedtime and morning routine can promote better sleep patterns, which can significantly affect a child's behavior and focus.

An Ideal Schedule for ADHD Children: A Mom's Perspective

Creating an ideal daily schedule for a child with ADHD involves a mix of structure, flexibility, and understanding. While every family's routine may differ, here's a sample schedule from a mom's perspective that incorporates key elements to support a child with ADHD:

Morning Routine

6:30 AM - Wake Up: Start the day with a consistent wake-up time. This helps regulate the child's internal clock.

6:35 AM - Morning Huddle: Have a brief morning huddle where you discuss the day's schedule, tasks, and expectations.

6:45 AM - Breakfast: A nutritious breakfast sets the tone for the day. Include protein, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruits.

7:00 AM - Medication: If your child is on medication, administer it as prescribed.

7:15 AM - Get Ready: Encourage your child to follow a consistent grooming routine, including brushing teeth, washing face, and getting dressed. Lay out clothes the night before to streamline this process.

7:30 AM - Backpack Check: Ensure all school materials, including completed homework, are ready and organized.

8:00 AM - Depart for School: Leave for school at the same time each day to reinforce punctuality.

School Routine

8:30 AM - School Begins: The routine at school should be consistent as well, with a structured classroom environment.

12:00 PM - Lunch: Ensure a balanced, energy-sustaining lunch that includes protein and complex carbohydrates.

3:00 PM - End of School: School ends at the same time each day. This consistency is crucial for children with ADHD.

After-School Routine

3:15 PM - Snack and Break: Provide a healthy snack to help maintain energy levels. Allow a short break for relaxation.

3:30 PM - Homework Time: Create a designated, distraction-free workspace for homework. Break assignments into manageable chunks with short breaks in between.

5:00 PM - Free Play: Allow time for unstructured play or recreational activities.

6:00 PM - Dinner: Maintain a consistent dinner schedule with healthy, balanced meals.

7:00 PM - Wind-Down Time: Limit screen time, engage in calming activities like reading, drawing, or puzzles.

8:00 PM - Bedtime Routine: Encourage a calming bedtime routine, such as a warm bath and bedtime stories.

8:30 PM - Lights Out: Consistent bedtime ensures adequate rest for the child.

Weekends and Free Time

While routines are crucial, remember to allow flexibility during weekends and free time. Allowing for unstructured play and leisure activities can be beneficial, as long as the core routines are maintained. This flexibility allows children to develop self-regulation skills and pursue their interests.


Raising a child with ADHD is a journey that requires patience, understanding, and dedication. Establishing and maintaining routines can significantly impact a child's ability to manage their symptoms, improve their self-esteem, and provide a sense of stability. From a mom's perspective, routines can be a lifeline in navigating the challenges of ADHD. While the sample schedule provided here is a guideline, it's essential to tailor routines to the unique needs and preferences of your child.

person writing on a book
person writing on a book

Consistency, structure, and love are the key ingredients to helping children with ADHD thrive in their daily lives.

The Importance of Routines for ADHD Children: A Mom's Ideal Schedule

The best tool for ADHD parenting is consistency and routine! Find the schedule that works best for us here!

11/20/20234 min read