October is ADHD Awareness Month!
Here are some quick tips to help you manage your child as they get ready for the new school year…
Define the house rules!
– Use clear and consistent rules that are applied in all settings
– Post rules visually (in writing for older kids, with drawings for younger kids)
When giving direction…
– Touch your child’s shoulder and encourage eye contact before giving a direction
– Only give a direction when you are able to follow through
– Have your child repeat directions and rules out loud in their own words
Rewards and punishments…
– Focus on the positive and give genuine praise and rewards frequently and immediately (Catch them being good!)
– Give mild but swift punishment for misbehavior
– Use high value rewards
– Change rewards frequently, every two to three weeks, to maintain their motivational value
– Behavior systems only work when they are being implemented, and they require ongoing monitoring and adjustment – Don’t give up too soon!
Other helpful suggestions…
– Establish consistent home routines
– Use clocks and timers for different activities and breaks
– Warn your child in advance of transitions (e.g., 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute)
– During homework, give frequent breaks (use a timer)
– Plan for problems: Identify times when your child tends to misbehave, discuss expectations in advance, and tell your child what will happen if they do not follow the rules