How To Cope With ADHD For Breakfast

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the lit...
English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the literature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kurt is particularly vocal in the morning; some might call it manic.

Which makes it hard for the rest of us Dysfunctionals, because none of us are particularly great in the morning.

ADHD for breakfast is not how I would choose to start my day.

I’m a lot better than I used to be in the morning, as long as I’m left to quietly get on with what I have to do. If provoked, however, I have a tendency to react like a disturbed snake and attack aggressively.

My brain simply isn’t geared up to tolerance before 8am.

Nerd Child rarely awakes before midday so she generally escapes the madness fest that is our morning routine. She is a night bird and can happily stay up until two in the morning reading about the latest scientific discoveries on Time on-line or pinning pretty images of rocks and constellations on Pinterest.

The old man used to be good in the morning, before the weight of responsibility grabbed him by the balls. He still bounds out of bed like a toddler at the weekend, excited at the prospect of freedom, but from Monday to Friday he avoids the family like a bear with a sore head, dragging his neon cycling runners around the house, Lycra crunching harmoniously.

Unfortunately, once out of bed, Kurt is at his most deliriously manic in the morning.

Morning mania is apparently very common with ADHD.

He makes his presence known as soon as he is up with his bellows of the latest and crudest rap song in the shower. Within the first few bars of his booming baritone voice bouncing off the double brick walls, Nerd Child harmonizes with a continuous ‘shut up, Kurt’ and the old man starts slamming doors in protest, (before slinking out of the back door at the first opportunity).

This is ADHD for breakfast.

I used to get involved as soon as warfare was declared on the first floor. I would attempt to referee, try to calm Kurt the f*ck down, appease the others, but I now reserve those crucial energy supplies for the 30 minutes between Kurt bursting out of the shower and leaving the house for the station.

Until I pop those magic pills in his mouth, breakfasting with Kurt is tantamount to having a loud, over-grown and very resistant toddler in your face.

Typical ADHD factors that contribute to the high-intensity breakfasting experience are anxiety, poor organisation, tiredness and OCD.

They can trigger the following disputes :

School clothes – Kurt never wears anything twice due to his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder so every item of clothing has to be washed religiously as soon as it is worn. At the moment he will only wear one pair of undies. Kurt has always hated wearing clothes which is a symptom of his hypersensitivity to sensory stimulus. If he had the choice, he would be a naturist and  in a permanent state of undress at home. In the morning, he walks around naked as he gathers together those clothes that pass his personal quality control. Having your teenage son’s penis in your face while eating your Muesli can be confronting.

Tick tock, tick tock….

Train and bus passes – where the f*ck do they go? These disappear daily or they don’t come home at all – organisation is poor with ADHD.

Tick tock, tick tock…

Medication – even though Kurt knows he benefits from his medication, it becomes a battle of wills between us at 7am.  ‘I’ve decided that I’m not going to take my medication today,’ is his typical provocation, which is generally the point at which my blood pressure begins to escalate and I first begin to think about wine.

Tick tock, tick tock…

Homework – breakfast is often the time that I discover that Kurt hasn’t done the assignment that was handed out three weeks ago and he fundamentally doesn’t give a sh*t anyway. I reserve time to get on the computer for making brown-nosing apologies to teachers and to beg for extensions.

Tick tock, tick tock…

Food  – Kurt’s ideal breakfast diet comprises of biscuits and cakes. A ‘success’ for me is an Up N’Go or a bowl of cereal; a ‘win’ might be some protein. Sometimes I just think f*ck it! (because I am human after all) and I let him eat what he wants. Choice is too overwhelming for kids with ADHD – what I should do is just buy 6 packets of the same cereal.

Tick tock, tick tock…

Organisation for School – Why I still bother with this at 7am in the morning, I have no idea? On more rational days I simply send an email to the school once he has gone.

Tick tock, tick tock…

Negotiations –  These usually pertain to the difference of opinion between us regarding when I would like him to be back from school and when he wants to come back. Negotiations usually end with a defiant ‘well, I’ll come back when I want to,’ no matter what I say. Generally, though, he will think about this later and come back when I have asked him to. For the moment.

However confronting this behaviour seems, it’s funny how the most bizarre behaviours can become the norm after a while.

As the clock ticks on, I am aware that every minute counts as my son becomes distracted by anything and everything in his path; from the dog offering her ball for playtime to advertisements on the television. Kurt needs to be on the train by 8.15am for him to have any chance of making it to school on time. If he manages to secretly put Top Gear on the television, I know that our time management for that morning is doomed and I will be receiving another ‘ late’ text from school with underlying ‘bad parent’ knuckle rap.

Which is usually when I begin to think about wine again.

The clock continues to tick, the old man tuts again and the dog hides as I continue to try and negotiate with my big fifteen year old boy, all the while trying to avoid making eye contact with his exposed member.

Everything I have read on the subject of ADHD with breakfast (and there is a lot of content out there) suggests that it is the parent who needs to accommodate the ADHD child in the morning, because they are overloaded. And as much as I want to make my child more independent, I also want him to succeed and not feel like a failure in this aspect of his life too.

Kids With ADHD Need Support and ‘Scaffolding’.

Therefore, I have now taken on board the suggestions from Diane at Impact ADHD on how to get Kurt out of the door without losing the plot help Kurt in the mornings:

  • Make sure he has taken his Melatonin the night before to help with sleep
  • Set two separate alarms to help him wake up
  • Give him ten minute reminders after the alarms
  • Agree to his breakfast the night before and set it out for him with his meds
  • Put a schedule on the fridge for him to refer to
  • Make sure either he or I have his uniform ready in his room the night before and his school bag packed
  • Help him organise his homework on time

13 thoughts on “How To Cope With ADHD For Breakfast

  1. I feel I need a glass of wine as well reading this. It seems your writing is a great outlet for you and of course the wine too. Hang in there as you’re so funny with difficult issues and I’m sure you are a support to others who struggle with them as well.

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  2. ADHD alongside other diagnoses…sigh. I live with this in my husband, but his companion diagnoses are depression and anxiety. It’s truly shocking how hard it is to live with. People who haven’t experienced it don’t have a clue how thoroughly it can take over a household.

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    1. How right you are! It is the whole personality disorder side that people don’t understand. They think that ADHD is just being a bit fidgety. Does it get any better? Does your husband manage it for the most part?

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      1. No, he really doesn’t. They typical meds give him panic attacks, non-stimulant ADHD meds didn’t work, and his other issues make it almost impossible for him to follow a routine of behavioral coping strategies. It is truly a disability. I applaud you for all you do to help your son. I know it’s a huge commitment, but that’s what moms do. 🙂 Our son has mild to moderate ADHD, and chose to go off his meds over a year ago. It was a good decision for him, and a big leap in maturity helped him cope, but I still have concerns about him starting college in August and having to keep himself on track.

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  3. The same thing goes on in our home. If I don’t put everything his packpack before he leaves like his glasses it will never make it out the door. Our new ocd thing is showering( most moms would ccomplain at 13) but he uses a new towel every time has the water at the hottest temp which is causing the paint now yo peel in the bathroom. No matter How many times I say crack the door it does not happen,,pick your battles I guess. The other obsession are basketball shorts, like your son its a texture thing. Its so hard not to try to do everything for them out of our frustration. I just feel people who font have adder’s don’t understand what we ho through.

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    1. We’ve been through the shower thing – 3 times a day at its worst and he would rub his skin sore afterwards1 You certainly have to pick your battles. Others really have no idea which is why it’s nice to talk to parents in the same boat.

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  4. I so shouldn’t laugh, but they way you write it cracks me up every time!! My son hated taking the medication also, so I did the the whole diet thing. Does it work? Yes and No! Lol My son bounced out of bed and was up and ready before I even got out up. . His obsession was waiting at the door for 8am to leave the house. We were only 5 minutes from school, but that’s what he had to do to feel calm and not anxious. Sad really, but what can you do? You just have to go with the flow, right? Even though that flow makes you want to drink that wine…and lots of it!! LMAO A penis looking at me first thing in the morning, not cool! Lol I hug you…Paula xxx

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