November 22, 2021
By Jill Saluck
It is often the case that kids with learning disabilities and ADHD struggle with time management. This comes from an inaccurate perception of the passage of time, rather than an unwillingness to do things promptly. It can nevertheless become a constant source of conflict between parent and child, in addition to impacting school and other activities.
I know all too well the frustration of going into my daughter’s room before school and saying, in my sweetest, most motherly voice, “Good morning, honey,” only to be ignored, or worse, confronted by a grumpy shriek. This inevitably escalates into a stand-off where I become an angry shrew and my daughter, once again, misses the bus. I have three daughters, none of whom are easy morning risers, so this was a common occurrence in my house.
I tried regular alarm clocks, but my girls would simply turn them off and go back to sleep, knowing that mom would come in as the human snooze alarm eventually. After pinpointing what each of them needed, I did a little research and found some solutions that have made my life (at least the mornings) a great deal easier.
Different Clocks for Different Daughters
My oldest daughter has to get up at different times each day of the week. That was part of the problem as she would forget to set the alarm early enough for the early days. I found her the American Innovative Neverlate Executive alarm clock that allows for different alarms for each day of the week, along with a five-minute snooze button. I set it once for her, and didn’t need to reset it again until her schedule changed. Now if the alarm goes off at 6:00, she knows it’s Tuesday and she needs to go to early chorus practice. Sometimes I still have to drag her out of bed, but not nearly as often.
Of the three, my middle daughter poses the greatest rise-and-shine challenge. She requires the most interaction to get out of bed and downstairs for breakfast. The alarm clock I found for her has been life-altering. It’s called “Clocky” by Nanda Home and is an alarm clock on wheels that wakes her up by making a bunch of wacky noises, then rolling off the night table to another area of the room, forcing her to get out of bed in order to turn it off. As I had hoped, once out of bed
inertia seems to keep her moving in the right direction, albeit slowly and slightly annoyed. But not only is she out of bed; I am not to blame for it.
My youngest daughter usually wakes up cheerfully when I go into her room. But once I’m in there, she doesn’t want me to leave, which creates a problem when I need to start making breakfast and getting everyone ready for school. For her, I needed something that would be fun enough to get her moving. I got her an Egg Laying Chicken Alarm Clock, which wakes her up by laying eggs and chirping. The chirping doesn’t stop until she has found all five eggs around her room and returned them to the clock’s basket. By that time, she is ready for her next project—getting dressed for school.
Life in our household is still chaotic but I must say, these gadgets were a great investment. One morning last week I walked by my daughter’s room and heard some loud stomping followed by an exasperated, “shut up!” The alarm then stopped sounding, her closet door opened, and I heard her start to get dressed. I walked away smiling—at least she wasn’t talking to me!