While a child with ADHD will need as much discipline as one without the disorder, the strategies you use will have to be different. Effectively guiding a child with ADHD calls for varying amounts of strict rules and flexibility. As you learn what the experts are saying about disciplinary actions, you’ll be able to see what works best for you and your child.
The To-Do List
- Give your child structure – A detailed routine that includes simple tasks like choosing their clothes for the day, eating meals, and schoolwork can make disruptive periods less likely.
- Make the tasks manageable – Another preventive disciplinary measure is ensuring that your child’s tasks are manageable and that you’ve given them clear instructions for getting them done.
- Provide positive interactions – One characteristic of ADHD is attention-seeking behavior. In many cases, this can present as them misbehaving. To prevent this, you can maintain positive interactions throughout the day. The one-on-one time will go a long way.
- Give positive feedback for efforts – Just as you will let your child know when they’ve done something that displeases you, it’s important to have balance with praising them. This isn’t limited to when they’ve accomplished the task since there will be times when they can’t. Let them know that you appreciate their efforts as well.
- Use time-outs when needed – For children with ADHD, a time-out isn’t always about punishment. It can be a good time for your child to calm down or recover from feeling overstimulated.
- Let consequences play out – In some cases, your child will need to experience the natural consequences of their actions for the lesson to stick. Of course, this does not apply to situations where they will be hurt. One example is putting their food away when they’ve decided not to eat.
- Keep them physically active – Exercise will not only keep them healthy, but it will also help to burn off some of that extra energy that children with ADHD often have. According to health experts, physical activity can give your child a good avenue for their creative energy and help them to focus.