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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 2019-10-15T10:03:48-04:00

12 Ideas to Help Your Child Be an Upstander at Home and Beyond

You know what a bystander is: someone who is present when something happens, but doesn’t get involved. Sometimes that’s ok, but when a situation is unfair, cruel, or unjust, action is in order.  Parents try to teach their children to stand up for themselves in challenging situations. Parents can also help their children recognize and act on injustice or unfairness. Instead of a bystander, parents can help their children become Upstanders! An Upstander is a person who stands up to support fairness and respect while also trying to decrease bullying and injustice. Magination Press’s book, Stand Up! Be an Upstander and Make a Difference, by Wendy L. Moss, Ph.D, explores what it means to be an Upstander. Dr. Moss offers suggestions for how children can make positive changes in their worlds, while encouraging them to brainstorm ideas of their own. This excerpt from Chapter 8 identifies some ways kids can be Upstanders. At home Use relaxation skills and respectful communication tools during disagreements with siblings or adults. Use positive self-talk to remain confident before working to help others. Spend time with others, including older or younger siblings, showing them you value their company and ideas. At school Try to include instead of exclude. Sometimes it would be helpful and even fun to include a student who seems to be alone or lonely. Talk with other students about what they think needs to be done to make your school more peaceful. Work with others toward this goal using skills learned in Stand Up! Use the power of a smile! Smile and even say hello to lots of different people so that they know you are acknowledging them. In your neighborhood Offer to help out neighbors who find physical tasks challenging by walking their dog, shoveling snow, or taking out their garbage. Fight loneliness. Where appropriate, visit family friends or relatives who may be lonely, or organize a group to visit a local retirement home. Identify ways to help your neighborhood, like picking up litter, creating a safe space for kids to hang out, or helping out at the library, and work with others to solve a problem. In the world Find creative ways to support charities that work on areas important to you. For example, donate one of your birthday gifts, organize a lemonade stand and donate the money earned, or participate in a charity’s walk-a-thon and collect donations for each mile you walk. Help find a cure for a disease that has impacted someone you know. Research the disease and organizations searching for a cure. Raise awareness about the disease and collect donations to fund research. Work toward a big goal, like promoting world peace, by looking for organizations near home that share your goal. Be sure to check with an adult to make sure they feel comfortable with you communicating with the organization, local or otherwise, directly. Being an Upstander means speaking out when you see injustice or bullying. It also means identifying important issues and working toward

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12 Ideas to Help Your Child Be an Upstander at Home and Beyond 2019-10-16T17:02:25-04:00

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 2019-10-12T14:24:42-04:00