Is your child suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD? Do you need some tips on how to discipline an ADHD child effectively so as not to exacerbate the symptoms of the condition?
As most parents of ADHD children already know, disciplining a child with ADHD can be a challenge, and doing it incorrectly can actually worsen the problem behavior.
Perhaps this is why the question “how to discipline an ADHD child” is such a popular one – a question that is asked by millions of parents each year.
Unfortunately, there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this question—no quick fix—but this does not mean the situation is hopeless.
To help you cope with your child’s troublesome behavior, below we have put together 5 tips on how to discipline an ADHD child—tips that parenting experts on children with ADHD say can help correct the negative behavior without making matters worse.
5 Tips on How to Discipline a Child with ADHD
The question of how to discipline an ADHD child is one that doctors and specialists are regularly asked, and the answer seems to revolve around the bond that you as parents establish with your child. While medication and counseling are usually the preferred methods of treatment for ADHD, and can be quite effective in controlling symptoms, children can still tend to act out at home and at school, and if disciplined incorrectly a bad situation can quickly spiral out of control. To help you avoid this, below are 5 tips on how to discipline a child with ADHD in the correct manner:
- Be patient. There can be no debate that ADHD children tend to be more difficult than most other children, but you must keep in mind that much of this unwanted behavior is outside of your child’s control. You do, however, have control over your own behavior, and if you lash out when your child is acting inappropriately, he/she will only model the same behavior you are exhibiting. Instead try to model patience and calm and most times you can diffuse the situation.
- Be consistent. Consistency and structure are very important for all children, and this is especially crucial when learning how to discipline an ADHD child. If you fail to follow through on your measures of discipline, you can be assured the negative behavior will only continue.
- Allow no interference. ADHD children tend to respond better when there is only one person in charge, therefore, when disciplining your child, try not to let anyone interfere, including siblings or grandparents, which can cause the child unnecessary confusion.
- Be firm. Learning how to discipline a child with ADHD means learning to be firm and serious. Laughing or smiling when disciplining your child sends a message that the unwanted behavior is funny or acceptable, and your child is bound to repeat it. Also, while being firm is important, being too harsh with your child, such as yelling, screaming or physical punishment, may make the situation worse with an ADHD child.
- Avoid Negative Language. Negative language, such as the words “don’t” or “stop”, is seldom effective when disciplining a child with ADHD. Try phrasing your discipline in a more positive manner and it will usually produce better results.
To effectively learn how to discipline a child with ADHD, keep in mind that the condition is not to be pitied or overindulged, and you do not have to resort to harsh physical punishment.
For best results, be patient, consistent and firm in your approach, avoiding negative language and modeling the type of behavior you expect.