- Reward your child with privileges, praise, or activities, rather than with food or toys.
- Change rewards frequently. Kids with
ADD/ADHD get bored if the reward is
always the same.
- Make a chart with points or stars awarded for good behavior, so your
child has a visual reminder of his or her successes.
- Immediate rewards work better than the promise of a future reward, but small rewards leading to a big one can also work.
- Always follow through with a reward.
- Consequences should be spelled out in advance and occur immediately after your child has misbehaved.
- Try time-outs and the removal of privileges as consequences for misbehavior.
- Remove your child from situations and environments that trigger inappropriate behavior.
- When your child misbehaves, ask what he or she could have done instead. Then have your child demonstrate it.
- Always follow through with a consequence.
Insufficient sleep can make anyone less attentive, but it can be highly detrimental for children with attention deficit disorder. Kids with ADD/ADHD need at least as much sleep as their unaffected peers, but tend not to get what they need. Their attention problems can lead to overstimulation and trouble falling asleep. A consistent, early bedtime is the most helpful strategy to combat this problem, but it may not completely solve it.
Help your child get better rest by trying out one or more of the following strategies :
- Decrease television time and increase your child's activities and exercise levels during the day.
- Eliminate caffeine from your child’s diet. Cola drinks and chocolate have significant caffeine.
- Create a buffer time to lower down the activity level for an hour or so before bedtime. Find quieter activities such as coloring, reading or playing quietly.
- Spend ten minutes cuddling with your child. This will build a sense of love and security as well as provide a time to calm down.
- Use lavender or other aromas in your child's room. The scent may help to calm your child.
- Use relaxation tapes as background noise for your child when falling asleep. There are many varieties available including nature sounds and calming music. Children with ADHD often find "white noise" to be calming. You can create white noise by putting a radio on static or running an electric fan.
The benefits of “green time” in kids with attention deficit disorder
Research shows that children with ADD/ADHD benefit from spending time in nature. Kids experience a greater reduction of symptoms of ADD/ADHD when they play in a park full of grass and trees than on a concrete playground. Take note of this promising and simple approach to managing ADD/ADHD. Even in cities, most families have access to parks and other natural settings. Join your children in this “green time”—you’ll also get a much-deserved breath of fresh air for yourself.
Help your child eat right
Diet is not a direct cause of ADHD, but food can and does affect your child's mental state, which in turn seems to affect behavior. Monitoring and modifying what, when, and how much your child eats can help decrease the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
All children benefit from fresh foods, regular meal times, and staying away from junk food. These tenets are especially true for children with ADD/ADHD, whose impulsiveness and distractedness can lead to missed meals, disordered eating, and overeating.
Eating small meals more often may help your child’s ADD/ADHD
Children with ADD/ADHD are notorious for not eating regularly. Without parental guidance, these children might not eat for hours and then binge on whatever is around. The result of this pattern can be devastating to the child’s physical and emotional health. Prevent this pattern by scheduling regular healthy meals or snacks for your child no more than three hours apart. Physically, the child with ADD/ADHD needs a regular intake of healthy food; mentally, meal times are a necessary break and a scheduled rhythm to the day.
- Get rid of the junk foods in your home.
- Put fatty and sugary foods off-limits when eating out.
- Turn off television shows riddled with junk-food ads.
- Give your child a daily vitamin-and-mineral supplement.
Nutrition Basics for Kids
Whether or not your child has ADD/ADHD, he or she will benefit from eating a nutritious diet. Most children eat far too many unhealthy foods — from burgers and fries to ice cream and soft drinks. Few get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they need. It is important to your child’s current and future health to eat a healthful diet, and that may mean that you need to improve your own diet to set a good example.
Children with attention deficit disorder often have difficulty with simple social interactions. They may struggle with reading social cues, talk too much, interrupt frequently, or come off as aggressive or “too intense.” Their relative emotional immaturity can make them stand out among children their own age, and make them targets for unfriendly teasing.
Keep in mind that many kids with ADHD are exceptionally intelligent and creative and will eventually figure out for themselves how to get along with others and spot people who aren’t appropriate as friends. Moreover, personality traits that might exasperate parents and teachers may come across to some people as quirky and charming.
Helping a child with attention deficit disorder improve social skills
It's hard for children with ADHD to learn social skills and social rules. You can help your child with ADD/ADHD become a better listener, learn to read people’s faces and body language, and interact more smoothly in groups.
- Speak gently but honestly with your child about his or her challenges and how to make changes.
- Role-play various social scenarios with your child. Trade roles often and try to make it fun.
- Be careful to select playmates for your child with similar language and physical skills.
- Invite only one or two friends at a time at first. Watch them closely while they play.
- Have a zero tolerance policy for hitting, pushing and yelling in your house or yard.
Make time and space for your child
Helping kids who distract easily involves physical placement, increased movement, and breaking long work into shorter chunks.
- Seat the child with ADD/ADHD away from doors and windows. Put pets in another room or a corner while the student is working.
- Alternate seated activities with those that allow the child to move his or her body around
the room. Whenever possible, incorporate physical movement into lessons.
- Write important information down where the child can easily read and reference it.
Remind the student where the information can be found.
- Divide big assignments into smaller ones, and allow children frequent breaks.
to play, and reward good play behaviors often symptom of ADD/ADHD, particularly at school.
Methods for managing impulsivity include behavior plans, immediate discipline for infractions, and ways to give children with ADD/ADHD a sense of control over their day.
- Make sure a written behavior plan is near the student. You can even tape it to the wall or the child’s desk.
- Give consequences immediately following misbehavior. Be specific in your explanation, making sure the child knows how they misbehaved.
- Recognize good behavior out loud. Be specific in your praise, making sure the child knows what they did right.
Write the schedule for the day on the board or on a piece of paper and cross off each item as it is completed. Children with impulse problems may gain a sense of control and feel calmer when they know what to expect