If your child has ADHD, should you discipline them in a different way than with your other children?
The answer might surprise you.
ADHD is a challenge, not necessarily an excuse for kids. Still, you might need to be a little more flexible in your expectations.
We need to be more aware of how the ADHD impacts their ability to listen, follow through on tasks, and control their impulses. However, having ADHD does not take away the expectation that they will improve in these areas.
So, you don’t have to discipline them differently. But you may need to do it more often and be more consistent. A lesson may take longer to sink in.
Discipline strategy for kids with ADHD (or any child) is to teach them the skills they need to succeed before they have a problem.
For example, all kids need a schedule or guidance to help them keep up with chores, homework, and other expectations. Kids with ADHD can’t be expected to “just get it” from verbal instructions. Instead, they often respond better to a visual schedule that they can follow.
They also do better with very specific instructions. Instead of telling kids to “clean their room,” be specific, such as “all clothes off the floor,” and “all books on the bookshelves.” That way, kids clearly understand what to do.
Rewards work well for kids with ADHD, but they, too, may need to be tweaked slightly.
It’s probably not realistic to set that expectation for an entire day. If they mess up in the morning, you’ve lost the whole day.
Instead, break the day up into thirds and give points for good behavior in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening. Once they’ve earned points, you can’t take them away. Some kids also need more frequent rewards. They may lose interest if they have to wait a week to earn one. Rewards can include praise from a parent or doing something special.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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