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Discipline and ADHD

Discipline with ADHD

Kids with ADHD have difficulty with instructions, maintaining focus, regulating their behavior and organization so parents play an important role in creating structure: clear rules, feedback-both positive and negative-and consequences to help kids with ADHD understand limits and learn how choices bring either privileges or discipline.  Setting clear expectations is an important part of parenting kids with ADHD.  Use rules consistently and remind your child frequently so he or she understands and learns them.  Praise your child and let him or her earn privileges for following the rules.  When a rule is broken, the results are then not a surprise to the child-no privileges.  Because children with ADHD have more difficulty than an average child controlling their behavior, try to ignore the little things such as whining, fidgeting and making extra noise (vocal sound effects, etc.).  Yelling, lecturing or spanking are not disciplinary techniques that work well with children with ADHD.  They put stress on the parent and the child and can often make symptoms of ADHD worse.  Small doses of discipline work best with children with ADHD such as taking away an ipad for 10 minutes instead of the whole day.  This also allows a parent to add more time or use this consequence again if the negative behavior continues.  Disciplining a child with ADHD can be challenging and results take time, but don’t give up.  A parent group or a behavior support specialist such as a psychologist can help provide support and will give you new ideas for parenting and will remind you that you are not alone.


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