For many children – not just those with ADHD living in a structured environment and following a consistent routine is important. Sometimes it may be a little difficult to encourage kids with ADHD to follow a certain routine but once they get into the habit of it, they can become so committed to it that any disruption to their schedule makes them feel uncomfortable.
This can make it more challenging for parents to make even small changes to their ADHD child’s routine. Because they don’t cope well with change, some of them can experience “transition trauma”, which can lead to tantrums.
However, we all know that change is inevitable in life. One way or another, our kids need to deal with change and as parents it’s our responsibility to make things easier for them.
Some of the biggest changes kids need to cope with include transferring from a small school to a big school, having new teachers and new classmates, moving to a new house, or having a new babysitter. All these transitions are scary for a child with ADHD so we need to guide them carefully and allow them to go through the transition smoothly.
Talk to your child as soon as possible and let them know about the transition. Don’t take them by surprise with the news; allow them plenty of time to face the coming change. For example, weeks and even months prior to moving to a new house, you should talk to them about it; you can show them photos and even visit the new house or area with your child in advance.
Allow them to play an active part in the change. Ask your child’s opinion regarding his new room: what colour will it be, what things would they like for the room, how would they like to arrange the furniture? This will give your child the idea that they are part of the decision and perhaps even help them cope and feel excited about the transition.