073: Better Mornings for Families of Kids with ADHD, with Brendan Mahan, M.Ed.

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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There are few times more chaotic and stressful for families of kids with ADHD than mornings, especially school mornings. Kids with ADHD struggle with staying on task, time management, working memory, and many other executive functioning deficits that make mornings difficult — difficult to get out the door on time, difficult to get everything done, difficult to not lose your sanity.

In this episode of the Podcast, I'm talking to executive function coach, Brendan Mahan, M.Ed. about how to survive mornings in a household challenged by ADHD. This episode is packed full of tools and strategies. Don't miss it. 


“The morning routine starts the night before.“


Some of the resources may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

Apps to create your morning ritual (or your kids'): https://mymorningroutine.com/products/apps/

Alarm Clocks for Tough to Wake Kids: ClockyBed-Shaking AlarmSunrise Simulator Alarm Clock

Sensory-Friendly Toothbrushes: 3-Sided Toothbrush, Electric Toothbrush with App GuidanceAquaSonic Brush Monsters for Younger Kids

Smart TV to use sleep timer with

Breakfast on the go ideas in Penny's book, What to Expect When Parenting Children with ADHD

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My Guest

Brendan Mahan, M.Ed., MS.

Brendan Mahan is host of the ADHD Essentials Podcast, is an internationally recognized ADHD/Executive Function expert, and an engaging, sought-after speaker. He helps individuals, families, schools, and businesses manage the challenges of executive function through an approach that blends education, collaborative problem-solving, and accountability with compassion, humor, and a focus on strengths and growth.


Thank you!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. Have something to say, or a question to ask? Leave a comment below. I promise to answer every single one. **Also, please leave an honest review for the Beautifully Complex Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and appreciated! That's what helps me reach and help more families like yours.

I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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Makes time visual for those with time blindness.


Blends gaming with off-screen activities to teach coping skills through play.


Manage chores and routines while building self-confidence and independence.


A chair that gives kids a sensory hug.

About the show...

I'm your host, Penny.

Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

My approach to decoding behavior while honoring neurodiversity and parenting the individual child you have will provide you with the tools to help you understand and transform behavior, reduce your own stress, increase parenting confidence, and create the joyful family life you crave. I am honored to have helped thousands of families worldwide to help their kids feel good so they can do good.

Listen on Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  iHeart Radio

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1 Comment
  • I have a son who just turned 9 years old and he has a dual diagnosis of ASD and ADHD. My husband is very similar (but no official diagnosis), and has the benefit that he understands a lot of the problems our son has. Toothbrushing has always been a huge problem for my son (and to be honest my husband doesn't like it either – he once told me it is an “intense sensory experience”). We transitioned to an electric toothbrush for our son for the same reason you mentioned as then even if he doesn't do a great job the toothbrush is working well. But this summer we had a breakthrough with the toothpaste. My son was refusing to use toothpaste as it was all “too minty” even if it was not mint flavored! I looked online and we now buy “non-flavored, non-foaming” toothpaste online and he now brushes twice a day with far, far less complaints.


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