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Behavior Management and ADHD

Behavior Management for ADHD Children - Tips for a Happy Home

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Updated April 10, 2009

Behavior Management at Home for ADHD Children

Parenting a child, any child, is a difficult task to begin with. When you have a child with ADHD you are parenting a child who has greater demands, needs more involvement, and requires greater patience and understanding by the parent. Take a deep breath! Pat yourself on the back for the hard work you have done. Here are a few tips that may make parenting your ADHD child a little easier.

1. Set Up Clear House Rules

Children with ADHD do best in settings with clear, consistent expectations. Talk with your child about the house rules. Together come up with consequences for behaviors. Reward good behaviors and provide appropriate consequences for negative behaviors.

2. Organize Your Home

It is helpful to get rid of clutter and identify specific places for things to go. Get storage boxes or other organizing containers. Clean out drawers. Designate a place for items. Make it clear that when things are used, they must go back into their proper spot when finished.

3. Set Up a Daily Schedule

All children respond well to routine and for kids with ADHD routine is vital. A daily schedule helps define the day and provides predictability.

4. Reward Effort

Sometimes tasks that seem simple to us are extremely difficult for a child with ADHD. Reward hard work and effort, rather than focusing on the outcome. Your child may have worked extra hard to study for a math test, but his grade may not reflect this. It is important to reinforce his effort and reward progress.

5. Catch Your Child Being Good

We often get so caught up in the negative behaviors we want to change that we forget to praise the positive behaviors we see. If you notice that your child put up his school backpack in its proper place right when he got home, let him know you noticed it. “I like the way you put your bag away. Good job!”

6. Focus on Strengths

All children have unique gifts. Sometimes they may be hard to find through all the problematic behaviors, but they are there. Focus on your child’s strengths and provide him with opportunities to succeed. This will help build his self esteem and confidence.

7. Get Support

You are not alone. There are other parents out there going through the same thing as you. Sometimes it is helpful to have a place to go for support and education. CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a wonderful organization that provides support in dealing with ADHD. Check out their online communities or their tips and resources pages. You may also search for local CHADD chapters.

8. Take Time for Yourself

Be sure to take care of yourself. Carve out some “me time”. Dealing with ADHD can be exhausting. It is important for you to take time to rejuvenate.

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