How to Smooth Out Routines for Kids with Behavioral Disorders

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In almost 10 years of working with students with behavior disorders, I often have parents ask me how they can help their children at home. What many parents don’t realize is that home life for students with behavior disorders can be an incredibly challenging environment, because kids often struggle when their routine and structure is not maintained. Parents of children with behavior disorders often comment that their child is very busy and seemingly restless when at home making it surprisingly difficult to get things done. These children also often require a great deal of attention which can often lead to increased sibling rivalries, unmaintained chores, and frustrated parents. Many of my families report it becomes more challenging every day to motivate their children.  There is good news though, my families that are using GoNoodle at home have shared with me, they can calm their children down and help them become more focused with the use of a few videos throughout the day.

Below are some helpful ways for parents of children with behavior disorders or even just challenging behaviors at times to incorporate GoNoodle at home with their kiddo.

Add GoNoodle to your morning routine.

If your home sounds anything like mine in the morning you can relate to running around mad trying to get out the door on time with all the things needed for the day. Many of my families have incorporated GoNoodle into their mornings. Not only is this a motivating way to get kids out of bed and dressed in the morning, but it sets kids up for a great day. Students using GoNoodle in the morning come to school more alert and tend to have more regulated behavior throughout the day.  If your kiddo is a slow riser in the morning you may want to choose a more upbeat video to awaken them for the day. Conversely, if your kid is already ready for a marathon as soon as they get out of bed it may be wise to choose one of the more relaxing videos available. Sort energy level by using the navigation at the top of the page.

Use Flow during challenging emotional times.

Weekends and busy holiday breaks can lead to difficult behaviors for all little ones especially children with behavior disorders. Grandparents and other visitors present extra stimulation and possibly different rules.  Kids tend to stay up later and not be on their normal routine, and thus we have… meltdowns. I have found in my own children if I can be proactive and utilize some regulation videos on GoNoodle we are less likely to have a meltdown. In the middle of a meltdown children can’t self-regulation, they can’t navigate through their feelings or problem solve when their brains in crisis. Using GoNoodle relaxation or calming videos help teach kids how to slow down their brains.  I personally love the Rainbow Breathing and Melting videos to encourage proper breathing techniques. Deep breathing is a lifelong skill that our children can use in unpleasant situations for the rest of their lives. Children will not use this if they do not feel comfortable with it, so practicing this skill often will lead to generalization throughout their daily life.  My own son has come up to me outside of our home and told me he needed to do some breathing because things were not working out how he wanted and he was becoming upset. This is exactly what we want our kiddos to do, realize when they need support. Children who struggle to regulate their behavior will need more practice to be able to use these skills on their own. As parents, we can watch the videos with our children, model, practice, and advise them of times to utilize the strategies.

Utilize Maximo/Flow to relax before bedtime.

Slowing down at bedtime can be a struggle for kiddos whose little brains are constantly overworked. GoNoodle has some great channels to access if your little one needs some help calming down at bedtime. It’s as simple as adding a short video into your nightly routine. Studies show a set routine can dramatically decrease the bedtime struggle and  increase the ease of children falling asleep. If your child knows that every night, there will be one video and one book they are less likely to try and bargain or stretch out the bedtime routine. Stay consistent and firm on your expectations and bedtime struggling will become a thing of the past. If your child struggles with verbal directions adding a visual or written schedule may help with this as well. I would suggest something like the routine below, but of course, each family has different routines so make it work for you and your child.

Bath/Brush teeth >> GoNoodle >> Read books/listen to relaxing music >> Lights out

GoNoodle To-Go.

Did you know that GoNoodle now has a free app? Parents can easily and quickly access GoNoodle anywhere on their smartphones or tablets. This means your child can get the benefits of GoNoodle anywhere: the waiting room at the doctor, a long car ride, a weekend sports tournament for an older sibling, grandparents home, and more!! When children start to get squirrely, give them a chance to move and get wiggles out in a positive way before you start to lose your cool. It’s hard for all of us to wait, and now we have some tools to keep our little ones occupied on-the-go.


If your child has a teacher that is using GoNoodle you can use the class code and connect to your teacher’s classroom.When they play certain videos at school from the Amp Your Champ channel, students will see their own Champs come to life on the big screen. How fun to connect school and home!! Children are often motivated by positive rewards; parents can tie extra GoNoodle time for chores or completing homework or other desired tasks. Research states children with behavioral difficulties need an increased amount of positive interactions compared to children without behavior challenges. What is better than utilizing a tool that is already motivating to our children? Plus, giving our children GoNoodle time helps keep adults to be accountable and remember to give our kids extra positives.

Hopefully, some of these pointers can help you with your child at home. I know as parents we have many hats to wear and sometimes a minute away to get things done is just want the doctor ordered. GoNoodle can certainly provide parents with an extra minute to clean up after dinner or while helping a sibling with some math homework. I also encourage you to spend time with your child doing GoNoodle so you know the language and can help them utilize regulation strategies when not on GoNoodle. Not only will you be able to remind your kiddo to use it, but you are building positive relationships with your kiddo and filling their attention seeking quota.  Plan and be thoughtful about incorporating GoNoodle into your home. What are you child’s neediest time? This may be a good time to implement some movement or relaxation videos. If there are times in your household that are busier maybe a few minutes away from the chaos will help your kiddo, or before periods of required sitting and waiting a GoNoodle video will assist in compliance. Remember it takes a village and we are all in this together.

Monika is a K-4 Behavior Specialist in Dyersville, IA and a GoNoodle Ambassador. 

Tip: “In my own home, I use GoNoodle on our smart TV and can access several videos through YouTube, we also sometimes stream the GoNoodle app from our phones to our TV with a streaming device (Apple TV, chrome cast, firestick, etc),  kids can watch straight from your laptop, or watch from a tablet/iPad with the GoNoodle app.  And while my own children are not diagnosed with a specific behavior challenge I would say if you asked any parent who has more than one young child in their home children all would agree challenging behaviors arise from time to time.” 

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