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Reddit is the place to be for shocking wedding drama and venting about awful in-laws, but it can also be a wonderful community of actually helpful advice. This one dad discovered a genius hack for getting his 7-year-old son to wake up independently and get ready for school — it sounds too good to be true! — and thankfully, shared it in the Parenting subreddit to help out others.
If you struggle with getting your kids ready in the mornings, you are not alone. There’s a special club of parents who are saying, “Rise and shine, it’s another beautiful day!” to their snoring kids, while inside screaming, “Get out of bed now, green tea chocolate chip cookies dammit!” (C’mon, I know it’s not just me.) Mornings can be hard for any kids, but especially those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which this Reddit dad and his kid both have.
The Sleep Health Foundation says up to 70% of kids with ADHD experience problems with sleep, which could be due to things like delayed sleep phase syndrome or insomnia. This makes it harder for them to wake up and get out of bed in the morning. If your ADHD kid is dragging their feet on weekdays, it could also be because school can be more challenging for children with ADHD.
Knowing this, this ADHD dad shared his lifesaving tip to make morning routines with kids “a little easier,” and I am so excited to try it with my own slow-moving kindergartener.
First, he gives a few criteria of who this advice will help: “Do you find yourself repeating instructions 100 times with no success, wanting to simply go back to bed (that’s polite for what the fuck did I get myself into??), muttering ‘FINE, YOU DRIVE YOURSELF!!’, or wondering how you can lose your shoes again??” he wrote. If so, this is for you and your kid — whether or not they have ADHD.
“Cue…your (possible) savior/helper/fun thing to do…ALEXA ROUTINES!!!!” he added. He explained that his 7-year-old son is a first-grader in Germany, where kids walk to school without their parents. The only problem? He has to be out the door at 7:35 a.m. every day to get to school on time, which can be difficult. “I cannot provide structure as I am also getting my non-morning-person ADHD ass ready at the same time prepping my 5 year old and 2 year old for their day,” he explained. So he turns to Alexa to provide the cues and structure.
“Alexa provides a consistent, prompted routine EVERY DAY,” he wrote. “It also takes the emotion out of what usually is an incredibly stressful process for all.”
The Reddit dad explains how he uses the Amazon Alexa app on his phone to create a customized routine for his son in the morning. His morning routine starts at 7 a.m. on weekdays, where it announces, “Good morning [name]… Time to get ready for the day!” It then waits 15 seconds before announcing the weather report, which cues him into what kind of clothes to wear.
From there, the 7-year-old has 7 minutes to get dressed before Alexa announces it’s time to eat breakfast. At 7:19 a.m., Alexa reminds his son “it’s time to wash up, brush your teeth, and take care of your hair.” The final reminder happens at 7:26 a.m., when Alexa reminds him to grab his lunch, backpack, and note, which the dad says is pre-prepped the night before and in their designated place. “I step in to help make sure anything that is IMPORTANT is done,” he explained.
At 7:29 a.m., Alexa finishes by telling his son, “Last check in this morning. Are you all set? Great job getting ready. Hope you have an amazing day” before playing “Dance Monkey” on Spotify to send him off. It’s positive, uplifting, structured, and totally emotionless — no yelling from the kitchen to make sure your son has stayed on track. And it also leaves the parent free to help with the things your kids need (finding their homework, tying their shoelaces, etc.) It seems like it would go a long way to make sure nobody is stressed in the morning, which is absolutely priceless.
Redditors loved this helpful advice.
“I mean, outsourcing the emotional labor of managing your time to a robot so you can have more time to be silly with your kid is great by me,” one person wrote. The dad responded, “
Being silly AND we can get out the door on time? That’s a win.” So true.
“Parent of a 1st grader with ADHD here. This sounds WONDERFUL. Thanks for the tip,” someone else wrote. “Sure thing! Plenty of ways to personalize it as well with sounds, songs, etc.,” the dad added.
One person said, “I love the creative win win solution you’ve found. Thinking out of the box without the negative emotions that usually accompany kids and mornings is fantastic.”
“This is so awesome. Good for you! My son doesn’t have ADHD but he would absolutely enjoy instructions from a robot more than his mother. You win parenting today,” another wrote.
Anything that can make parenting a bit easier is a win!
Before you go, check out some of Reddit’s wildest baby name dilemmas.
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