Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have some behavioral issues. Among the most common of these issues, is the display of aggressive, and even defiant behavior. These kids will refuse to acknowledge and follow directions issued by parents and teachers. Some kids will have a very loud and emotional outburst in frustration at not being able to do something or finding that task too challenging.
This kind of behavior can be quite disruptive and especially to other members of your household, and the other kids at school. Behavior management is a fundamental part of ADD treatment plans, and this therapy focuses on encouraging kids with ADHD to behave better.
The ADD treatment and behavior management expert will give you some insights on what you can do to motivate your child and encourage good behavior. Among the top tips that you should implement include the following
- Define the Rules and Expectations
Make it clear to your child what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t, in the simplest language that they will understand. If yours is an older child that can read well, write down these rules and post them on the refrigerator or anywhere where they can see the rules. It will certainly help your child to stick to these rules if you can make them a part of setting the rules.
If your child is too young to read, you can have that conversation and reinforce the message with illustrations and colourful drawings which highlight your expectations.
- Set up a Rewards and Consequences System
After defining the rules and expectations, the next thing that you need to do is define a rewards and consequences system. Be consistent about enforcing this system so your child knows what to expect should they act a certain way.
Knowing that good behavior earns them a reward and bad behavior some consequences, should motivate your child to gravitate towards the former. Centre your system around things that your child really likes. For example, if your child likes playing video games, then loss of the privilege to play, as a consequence, will certainly motivate your child towards behaving well.
- Praise Good Behavior
Positive reinforcement, according to ADD treatment specialists, is a game changer, for ADHD kids regardless of their age. Praise your child when they behave well. You shouldn’t tire of saying positive words to your child all the time.
Hearing these words of positive reinforcement helps to build your child’s confidence and self-esteem. They will certainly do better, if only to hear those positive words. Be sure to be specific with your praises and mix them up because using the same phrase over and over again can make it lose meaning.
- Know the Triggers and Plan Ahead
Does your child’s behavior change for the worst when they are hungry, or tired? Understand what triggers your child and plan a work around to avoid instances where your child’s behavior is beyond control.
If, for, example, your child gets irritable when hungry, ensure that you always have something for them to eat, even when you are out. Prepare and pack their favourite snacks. ADD treatment plans recommend ensuring your child gets enough sleep. If your child’s behavior becomes erratic when they are tired and sleepy, ensure that you plan for early bedtimes or a nap during the day.
- Keep Your Child Engaged
What activities does your child enjoy most? If they are engaged doing that, they will not have room to be frustrated at not doing anything and start acting up. Get to know your child more and identify those activities they like, and especially the kind that will not overstimulate them.
Proper planning will ensure that your child does not get frustrated mid-activity. Ensure they have everything they need for the activity, such as all the game pieces if it’s a game. You can also help set up, especially if your child usually has some trouble doing that.
These activities present the perfect opportunity for you to bond with your child. The bond you create as you engage in the same activity will boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem, which, according to ADD treatment experts, is vital for good behavior reinforcement.
- Model Good Behavior
With or without ADHD, children observe how those around them act and will consciously or subconsciously begin to act the same. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that your child communicates by throwing tantrums and shouting, if you are also in the habit of shouting. Always keep in mind that your child will always look up to you, so you want to make sure you model the kind of behavior that you wouldn’t mind them imitating.
With behavior management and other ADHD treatment protocols, an ADHD diagnosis will not stop your child from being as well-behaved as the next child. The outlined tips, while not exhaustive, will help you to encourage this good behavior.