Helpful Articles •
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Suggestions for Dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder
Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a challenge for
any family. These children often don’t respond to common
suggestions for parenting and need a more structured and
in-depth program of discipline and training. At Effective
Parenting we have had success with these children by implementing
several programs and skills for both parents and children.
Because ADD and ADHD have a biological component, medication
may prove to be helpful as part of the solution. Some families
adjust diet, exercise, sleep and/or give caffeine to address
the biological component. In addition to this, parents
must use a long-term character development plan. Medication
is only a temporary solution and children need to learn
character qualities to cope with or offset their weaknesses.
Here are a few suggestions which will be helpful.
1) Use Taking a Break as a primary discipline technique.
This approach isn’t simply a punishment for misbehavior
(as time out can be), but it forces a child to make internal
adjustments. Used in conjunction with other techniques,
Taking a Break is foundational for helping a child make
significant, heart-level changes.
2) Understand and use the Positive
Conclusion after every
discipline experience. The Positive Conclusion allows parents
to do therapy with their children several times a day.
It usually takes only a minute but can take longer when
helpful. It’s value is unequaled in helping children admit
their mistakes, understand how to change, and reshape their
thinking process. Although children with ADD/ADHD are often
quite intelligent, they sometimes have difficulty applying
their intelligence to social skills and behavior management.
The Positive Conclusion uses a positive approach and continual
repetition to reinforce right choices.
3) Work on self discipline as a primary character quality.
Impulsiveness is a common trait seen in children with ADD
and ADHD. Inappropriate speech, action or social skills,
destructiveness, and dishonesty are often the result of
undeveloped impulse control. These children must enter
into a rigid and structured program to develop self discipline.
Parents enter into a coach relationship with their children,
providing the external discipline needed to build the internal
4) Actively promote a healthy sense of pride for children
in themselves and their family. Talk about the things your
family enjoys, the fun activities you’ve experienced and
the sense of teamwork you have. Help the child understand
his/her uniqueness. Emphasize the fact that he/she is special.
Use a scrapbook, photo album, bulletin board, charts, story
telling, and art to reinforce this positive sense of self.
This is so important because much of the time these children
experience limit setting, correction, rebuke and instruction
which points out weaknesses. In reality, these children
have many strengths which must also be acknowledged and
5) Pray for your children regularly. God is the only one
who can change a person’s heart. Parents are influential
tools and their techniques and strategies are important,
but the parent of an ADHD child knows that there are limits
to parenting. These children often need a miracle in their
lives. God delights in doing miracles. These miracles often
take place over time because of the love, patience and
perseverance of parents.
These are just a few ideas used by Effective Parenting
to help children with ADD and ADHD. Each child needs a
program tailored just for his/her needs. Effective Parenting
offers a four-CD series called Parenting
the Child Who is a CHALLENGE to Parent, which contains several more ways
to structure family life and create an environment of growth
for your child.