October is AD/HD Awareness Month!

Check here next Thursday for our AD/HD Quick Tip “Finding the Right Reward.”

Getting in trouble for behavior that was unintentional can often lead to feelings of shame, uncertainty, and a lack of self-esteem in children with ADHD. Punishment leaves our kids feeling badly about what they did unintentionally and does little to aid them in doing better next time.

Instead, notice them “doing good.” Follow these four steps:

  • Identify the certain behavior you wish to reduce.
  • Allow yourself to ignore most other frustrating behaviors (provided it is safe to do so—of course, hitting, biting, running away, etc. need to be immediately addressed).
  • Identify the opposite of the behavior. For example, if your child frequently interrupts, then your task is to look for the times your child doesn’t interrupt.
  • Point out when your child exhibits the desired behavior immediately, and reward it with attention, praise or a tangible item.
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.

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