Your child is always on the go, never slows down until he passes out late at night, and you’re just not sure what you can do about it. Does that sound familiar to you?
Maybe you just got off the phone with your son’s third grade teacher about him disrupting class for the 15th time in the last month! Or maybe you’re afraid, no petrified, to take you’re 8 year old to Church because the last three weekends have ended in a disaster. And what’s even worse than the stress you feel resulting from these behavioral challenges?
You’re just like the tons of other frazzled parents that have benefited from learning behavioral treatment strategies for managing your child’s Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. You’ve talked to friends, the nice old lady that sits by you at Church, and even the lady who offered unsolicited advice when little Bobby thought it was a good idea to jump off the table at that nice restaurant you took the family to last Saturday night. They have no shortage of advice. But you wonder just how useful it is after trying everything 10 times with no changes in your son’s behavior. By now you’re skeptical of finding anything that will successfully treat your child’s ADHD.
And the popular solution of medicating your child doesn’t sound enticing either. You’ve heard the horror stories, and even witnessed first-hand, the “zombie-like” trance that some kids appear to be in after starting these medications. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m all about medication if all else fails.
But all else won’t fail if you follow the tips and suggestions presented here. Follow these tips consistently and your ADHD child will be well on his way to success at school and at home alike. When behaviors improve from following suggestions like these, he will begin to feel more confident, self-esteem with sky-rocket, and your stress level will plummet.
Toolbox for Treating Childhood ADHD
- Shift the Focus from Negative Behaviors to Positive Behaviors– Children with ADHD tend to get in trouble A LOT! For this reason, it’s pertinent that you develop a mindset of using Praise and Positive Attention as opposed to Punishment and Negative Attention. Your child has likely had enough Negative Attention to last a lifetime. Sure, it’s hard to focus on the positive when you’re stressed beyond your boiling point. But that’s exactly what you must learn to do if you want to learn to manage your child’s ADHD behaviors more effectively. Whatever behavior you are focusing on, just be sure to look for the opposite, known as the Positive Opposite of that behavior. It’s far more beneficial to focus on the Positive as opposed to the Negative Behaviors. And, believe me, your child will thank you!
- Set up a Token Economy or Point System– Another tool to add to your ADHD treatment toolkit is that of a simple Point Chart or Token Economy. This is a great way to keep your child’s goals in focus and offers a very tangible way to monitor progress. Most children are motivated by these systems and even simple rewards, when coupled with lavish praise from you as the parent, will motivate an otherwise apathetic child to try harder. Just remember to couple Praise with each time the child earns points or a reward for the Positive Behavior.
Follow These Additional Suggestions for Even Greater Success Effective Child Therapy offers these 5 tips to keep in mind when using behavioral strategies to treat your child’s ADHD:
- Start with goals that your child can achieve and improve in small steps
- Be consistent across different times of the day, different settings, and different people
- Don’t expect instant changes-teaching and learning new skills takes time, and children’s improvement will be gradual
- Constantly monitor the child’s response and adjust treatment as necessary
- Begin intervention as early as possible-although behavioral intervention works for all ages, early treatment is more effective than later intervention
But What if Your Child’s ADHD Behaviors Continue? The good news is that most children will respond to these interventions in a very positive way. Just remember to start as early as possible, be consistent, and focus on small improvements, not huge progress overnight. If you try these tips and still find progress to be slow, you might need the help of a trained Behavior Management Professional.
Behavior Management Coaching can help parents deal with the stress of parenting an ADHD child by teaching concise, proven interventions to reduce childhood behavioral problems, improve the child’s self-esteem, and drastically reduce parent’s stress levels in the process. Talk to us today.