Raising a child with ADHDis very different than raising a typical child. Regular rule-making and household routines can become almost impossible, depending on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms, so you’ll need to learn and implement different approaches for ADHD behaviors. It can be very difficult to cope with some of the behaviors which result from your child’s ADHD, but it is possible to turn the experience into a positive one.
Accepting the child’s ADHD, behaviors and way of thinking is the first step. Parents must accept the fact that children with ADHDhave functionally different brains from those of other children. ADHD does make them more prone to impulsive behavior, While children with ADHD can still learn what is acceptable and what isn’t, even though they can still learn what is acceptable and what isn’t.
To foster the development of a child with ADHD, you will have to change your own behavior and learn how to manage your child’s behaviors. There are two basic parts to accomplishing this.The first is the rewarding and positive reinforcement of good behavior. The second is the removal of rewards for unwanted behavior, or punishment. Your child must understand that there are consequences to their actions through establishing rules and clear consequences for following or not following these rules. These two principals must be consistently followed in every area of a child’s life, at home, in the classroom, and during social interactions.
Acceptable and unacceptable behaviors
Behavioral modification is done to help your child think about the consequences of his behaviors and control his natural impulses. Parents must have an abundance of patience, empathy, and strength to make this happen. Parents must create a system that is clear and consistent for the child, where the child knows which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. Inconsistency can be very detrimental to a child’s progress. Some behaviors may always be unacceptable, like hitting or disrespectful speech.
Rules must be simple and clear, with children receiving rewards for following those rules. A points system is an excellent way to accomplish this as the repetition and positive reinforcement can encourage your child to engage in positive behaviors and feel good about him/herself.
While consistency is important, being too strict is not either effective. Children with ADHD may not adapt to change as well as others and need your understanding and support as they make mistakes. Behaviors that are not affecting anyone else or do not affect your child negatively should be accepted, even if they are different than what you might expect or want.
Children with ADHD can often display aggression. “Time-out” can help you and your child manage these aggressive outbursts, and explain to your child that they are not punishments but cooling off time. It is a time they can use to think about the consequences of their negative behaviors. You should take your child out of a situation calmly and firmly if he/she is acting out in public. As best as possible, you can try to ignore behaviors that are not significantly affecting anyone .
If you are a parent who is struggling with carrying out any of these recommendations, we can help. Positive Kids specialized with working with children diagnosed with ADHD and their families. You don’t have to do it alone! We are here to help