behavior management: 3 Articles

ADHD Tips: Finding the Right Reward

October is AD/HD Awareness Month! Check here next Thursday for our AD/HD Quick Tip “The Upside of Daydreaming.” Children with ADHD have difficulty with certain tasks because the part of the brain responsible for those tasks is under-stimulated. The anticipation of a reward can help to stimulate that part of the brain, setting that child up for greater success. We often associate the word reward with material things, but it doesn’t have to be the case. Rewards can also come in the form of privileges (TV or video game time, a story read aloud, a game with a parent). One of the highest forms of rewards for our children is praise! Goodness knows that an impulsive child probably gets reprimanded far more frequently than praised, so words of encouragement and thanks are like gold. If you use a point or token system that leads to a material reward, the reward should come fairly quickly, or the connection between good behavior and the positive result is lost. The reward should be desirable enough to motivate your child to do the hard work. Because boredom is a big foe of ADHD, the reward should be frequently changed so the novelty of your system doesn’t fade.  Be consistent. Try this consistently for a week. You may be surprised to see how your child begins to gear their behavior towards the type that earns praise. During the first week, if they misstep, try to ignore it. Later, you can address it by lightheartedly saying, “Darn, looks like you’re having a hard time with not interrupting right now. But sometimes you’re really good at it! I bet you’ll get it next time.”

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ADHD Tips: Finding the Right Reward 2019-10-28T14:21:54-05:00

ADHD Quick Tips: Praise, Don’t Punish

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.

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ADHD Quick Tips: Praise, Don’t Punish 2019-10-28T14:23:00-05:00

ADHD Quick Tips: Focus on the Positive

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.

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ADHD Quick Tips: Focus on the Positive 2019-10-28T14:23:18-05:00