Behavioral techniques for managing the child with ADHD are not intuitive for most parents and teachers. To learn them, caregivers may need help from qualified mental health care professionals or from ADHD support groups. At first, the idea of changing the behavior of a highly energetic, obstinate child is daunting. It is futile and damaging to try to force a child with ADHD to be like most children. It is possible, however, to limit destructive behavior and to instill in the child a sense of self-worth that will help overcome negativity.
Behavioral Techniques at Home
Bringing up a child with ADHD, like bringing up any child, is a process. No single point is ever reached where the parent can sit back and say, "That's it. My child is now OK, and I don't have to do anything more." The child's self esteem will evolve with an increasing ability to step back and consider the consequences of an action and then to control that action before taking it. But this does not happen overnight. A growing child with ADHD is different from other children in very specific ways, presenting challenges at every age.
Setting Priorities for the Parent. Parents must first establish their own levels of tolerance. Some parents are easygoing and can accept a wide range of behaviors, while others cannot. To help a child achieve self-discipline requires empathy, patience, affection, energy, and toughness. Some tips to help parents include:
Review Date: 01/27/2011
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.