The way a child with ADHD is raised can differ significantly from traditional child rearing. Most of the normal rule-making as well as household routines may turn out to be impossible – this depends on the severity and type of your child’s symptoms. This explains why you need to make use of different approaches. While it may be quite frustrating to cope with some of the behaviours of a child because of the symptoms of ADHD, you don’t have to despair.There are various tips, strategies and ideas that can help make life easier for you and your child. First, as a parent having a child with ADHD, you need to accept the fact that kids with ADHD possess a brain that’s functionally different from that of other children.Children with ADHD can definitely understand the actions that are acceptable and those that are not, but their disorder often causes them to be more prone to impulsive behaviour. So, if truly you want to enhance the development of your child with ADHD, then you will optimally need to make changes to your own behaviour and as much as possible, in order to learn to manage your child’s behaviour.The first step in your child’s treatment may likely be psychological and parenting techniques. The focus of this section is to provide you with strategies, tips and ideas to help you manage the symptoms of ADHD in your child. This will usually help to drastically reduce their symptoms and also assist your child in overcoming self-doubt and building good solid self-esteem.
The Principles of Behaviour Management Therapy
Basically, behaviour management therapy comprises two principles. One of such principles is positive reinforcement (encouraging and rewarding good behaviour). The other one is to withdraw the rewards by following inappropriate behaviour with the right consequences – this leads to the elimination of bad behaviour.
You need to teach your child to know that all actions have consequences and one way to do that is by setting rules and straightforward outcomes for adhering to the rules. You should ensure that these principles are followed in all aspects of a child’s life – in the classroom, the social arena and at home. Consistency is the key to this strategy.
Be Clear on Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviours
The purpose of behavioural modification is to enable your child to consider the consequences of their actions and learn to control the impulse to act on it. However, this requires patience, energy, strength, affection and empathy on the part of parents. As a parent having a child with ADHD, you need to first be clear on which behaviours you will and won’t tolerate. It’s very important that you stick to these guidelines once you’ve made them.
For instance, punishing some behaviours of your child one day and then allowing such behaviours at other times can be very confusing to a developing child. You must ensure consistency in following up acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. You can set behaviour boundaries such as; the refusal to get up in the morning, unwillingness to turn off the TV when asked to do so or physical outbursts should always be unacceptable – all the time.
It may be difficult for your child to internalise and enact your guidelines. So, you need to make the rules clear and simple for them and always reward your child for following the rules. You can achieve this by using a points system. For instance, you can give your child some points for good behaviours, which can be converted to rewards like a new game, toy or pocket money. Go ahead and write down your house rules and place them where your child can easily see them.
Your child will find it easier to understand your rules through repetitive and positive reinforcement.
Avoid Allowing Your Child to Take Control
Always bear in mind that you are the parent here and ultimately, you are the one to establish rules for acceptable behaviour in your house. You need to be patient and nurturing and shouldn’t allow yourself to be bullied or intimidated by the behaviours of your child.
You shouldn’t be overwhelmed! Don’t forget that the behaviour of your child is probably as a result of their ADHD. Although on the outside, ADHD may not be visible, it still remains a challenging condition and needs to be treated as such. Always remember that your child can’t “snap out of it” or just be normal when you start to feel frustrated or angry.