7 Behavior Modification Strategies for ADHD
Mar 28, 2013 (updated Jan 25, 2014)
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Change your attitude
Before setting any plan into action, take some time to review how you typically react to your child. You are going to take one to two weeks to change your view of your child and the situation at home. This time will be well spent and the rewards of taking this time will pay off tremendously.
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Focus on one behavior
There may be many things about your child that you want to work on improving. They may be talking back, not completing homework, not completing chores, antagonizing brothers and sisters or not listening. In order to make change lasting, you need to focus on one behavior at a time.
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Pick a reward system
Rewards do not need to be monetary. There can be a tangible reward at the end, giving your child something to work toward. Initial rewards can be stickers, check marks on a chart, or just a “good job.” Interim rewards can be: staying up late on the weekend or having a friend sleep over. Place a chart on the refrigerator in order to see progress.
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Pick a consequence
Although a behavior modification program focuses on positive reinforcement, there must also be consequences. Make consequences appropriate for your child’s age. If you determine the consequences beforehand, you will be able to deliver them calmly. Consequences can be such things as: fifteen minutes early to bed, no television or no video games.
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Being consistent is the key to making any behavior modification program work. The more consistent you are the better it will work. It is important to discuss what you are doing with caregivers and teachers to insure that everyone is working toward the same goal.
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Be flexible with rewards
Adding variety to your rewards will help to keep your child interested. You can change the rewards without changing the rules.
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As your child begins to master the behavior you originally began to work on, wean them off rewards for that behavior. Then choose one additional behavior and begin again at Step 2.
Next: 10 Myths About ADHD