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ADHD can be the cause of many undesirable behaviors in children. The combination of inattention, hyperactivity, and poor impulse control means children may act out, be disruptive, messy, and defiant. They may talk back, refuse to participate in challenging activities and struggle to follow the rules. Your ADHD child’s behavior may seem overwhelming at times, but clear and consistent boundaries, positive rewards, and consistency can help you and your child learn to manage his or her behavior.
You have to always uphold your standards
Behavior management for a child with ADHD is much like that for any other child. It is his ADHD that will not allow you as the parent to “fudge” on these standards because, if you do, you will risk losing any progress gained by implementing these management strategies.
First, define the rules and be consistent. Clear boundaries give any child a foundation of security from which to spring into action every day. For a child with ADHD, clear boundaries bring order to a chaotic brain, if you will. Becoming lax on those boundaries can bring back the external chaos to add to the internal one that your child with ADHD is already struggling with.
Secondly, make consequences immediate and make the consequences of breaking the rules known beforehand so that your child with ADHD knows that he or she does have a choice over which consequence they experience–bad or good. And praise them for doing well. Such practices by parents can go much further towards encouraging good behavior than by only pointing out the bad.
Learning how to manage ADHD is not easy
Let’s be honest. ADHD is challenging and tiring to manage. Each and every day is exhausting. From my experience, here’s how to manage ADHD:
- Having clear and simple expectations helps, and having a visual cue, like picture cards, can help young children.
- Break down the day and have one clear expectation for each part of the day. Focus on that, and only that.
- Reward the behavior you want, until it becomes automatic.
- Ignore other people. They are not walking in your shoes. You are not a bad parent or have no discipline. You are managing and loving a really touch and challenging kid.
- Oh and remember to have a vice! Chocolate, cake, or whatever works for you!
Behavior therapy for ADHD child is helpful
Managing your child’s ADHD behavior can be very challenging. For younger children as well as older children with ADD or ADHD, the inability to self-regulate can lead to frustration and destructive behavior.
Using techniques such as behavior therapy for ADHD child, your child can learn that good behavior has positive outcomes while bad or negative behavior leads to a negative consequence. Behavior management therapy works on the principles of rewarding and encouraging good behavior and removing rewards by following bad behavior with appropriate consequences.
Clear rules should be established, and your child should learn that their actions have consequences. Rules need to be consistent in all environments including at home, school, and in their social environment.
To manage your child’s behavior may mean that you have to modify your own behavior and expectations. You will need to accept that your child may need you to adopt an approach that is not familiar to you.
Your insurance might cover support services
Managing the challenging behaviors of ADHD can seem overwhelming at times. Clear and consistent boundaries, with natural consequences and positive rewards, are key to helping your child learn how to manage ADHD without medication.
However, if you are struggling to manage your child’s behaviors on your own, there is help. A behavioral specialist can work with your individual child to come up with a plan that helps your child use their strengths to learn to manage their behavior.
A TSS, or therapeutic support staff, will work with your child one on one to carry out this behavioral plan. A TSS can help in the school setting, community, and at home, taking some of the pressure off of parents and giving support to the family. These services are often covered by insurance, so check with your provider to see if this is available.