October is AD/HD Awareness Month!

Check here next Thursday for our Quick Tip “Praise, Don’t Punish.”

Lots of children feel as though they have a constantly spinning motor inside, which sometimes causes them to be restless and impulsive. This is especially true for children with AD/HD or similar executive-functioning disorders (in fact, front and center in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s criteria for AD/HD is the symptom of acting as if “driven by a motor”!), but can be true for any child with excess energy. Being unable to sit still, being restless, and being difficult to keep up with are common issues.

At the end of a long day, it’s easy for grownups to focus on all the trouble these motor-driven behaviors have caused and lose sight of the fact that the child likely had numerous positive behaviors as well. Drawing attention only to behaviors that need correcting can set up a child to feel like a failure, give up trying and can adversely impact the parent-child relationship.

Remember to notice the good your child does daily! It’s there, even if it shows up in minimal ways. Great job getting on your coat! OR I love how you cleared your plate! Even noticing negative behavior that might have occurred less than usual can be a plus. Tonight, I only had to ask you twice—great job! OR You only complained for two minutes instead of five—way to go! Bet you’ll do even better tomorrow.

by Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT

This Article's Author

Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT, is a psychotherapist who specializes in helping families of children with autism spectrum disorder, AD/HD, and learning disabilities. She lives in Northern California.

Related Books from Magination Press

  • My Whirling Twirling Motor

    Merriam Sarcia Saunders

    Charlie feels like he has a whirling, twirling motor running inside him…all the time! He doesn’t WANT to have so much energy, but sometimes he just can’t settle down.

    When his mom wants to talk to him, he figures he’s in trouble…but she has a surprise for him instead.

    Includes a Note to Parents, Caregivers, & Teachers with more information on hyperactivity, AD/HD, behavior management, and helping children focus on the positives.