How to Spend Summer with ADHD kids without Being Super Strict with Schedule

– 3 minutes read –

ADHD kids need a routine to keep structure, which gives comfort and reassurance to them.

It gives them predictability about what comes next, which reduces their anxiety.

However, it’s so challenging to keep the SAME routine during the summer or vacation – of course it’s recommended to keep the same wake-up & bedtime as usual.  I was told “that’s the life of parents with ADHD kids”. 

BUT, what I noticed is that it doesn’t have to be ALL the same routine in order to give comfort and reduce anxiety.  

Here’re 3 tips you can use if you want a little more flexible version of vacation routines for ADHD kids without causing a total structure break: 

  • When You cannot Keep the Same Wake-up & Bedtime Schedule

Maintain the same sleep hours when you cannot keep the same wake-up & bedtime hour.
For example, if your child goes to bed around 8pm and wakes up around 7am during school days, you can be a little flexible to do 9pm -8am as it keeps the same sleep hours.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, School-aged kids (6 to 12 years) need 9-12 hours of sleep. 
If your child is a preschooler (3-5 years old), they need 10-13 hours including a nap.

  • Keep Some of the Elements of Routines

When there’s a school, it is essential that routines be visually organized, easy-to-follow with a little reward at each section for morning & evening routines for ADHD kids. 

* This routine chart is developed for those reward-driven brains in mind! 

It’s ok not to keep the same routine elements, such as “packing lunch”.  But many elements can stay as usual such as “Brush teeth” “Walk my dog” “ Make bed”.  
These elements not only stay as predictable comforts for them even if it’s just routines, but also it makes the transition to go-back-to-school period much smoother. 

Don’t wait till a week before the school starts, start it when you have more time during summer!

  • When There’s a Little Hiccup…

It’s normal that we have to do different routines here and there during vacation.  We also have other kids who want to do different activities, right? 
If you have 2 days without the same routines, you can still go back to the same routine instead of “here it goes, it’s over” mode.

According to habit specialist James Clear, getting off track a couple of days won’t ruin all of your habits.  Rather, it’s important to get back to the routine as soon as possible.

( You’re helping your neurodivergent kid to acquire the important life skill, which is building a habit.)

I hope these 3 tips can help you feel a little relieved about vacation routines without being 100% strict as a family with ADHD kid(s).

Do you have any tips and idea?  
Please feel free to share with us!

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