If you are the parent of a child with ADHD, it is not uncommon to ask whether your child should receive special treatment when it comes to discipline. Well, the answer is no. While the condition may be a challenge, it should not be an excuse for your child to receive less discipline, although you may have to be more malleable in your expectations of your child. And while modifications in approaches are unnecessary, parents have to be prepared that disciplining a child with ADHD may be a lot more difficult than when disciplining a child who doesn’t have the condition.
Set Simple Rules and Be Consistent
You should set clear rules and carry them out consistently. Use as little words when instructing as possible so your child will remember them. Remember to be clear as your child cannot easily follow subtle instructions. And always be consistent – whether you carry out punishments or rewards. Consistency is imperative to develop trust and is key to make discipline effective. You should also consider the importance of consistency when your child is also cared for by nannies.
Teach Them Skills
Teach your child the needed skills to meet your expectations before a problem is created. For example, a child with ADHD needs to have a routine or schedule to keep up with daily activities – school, homework, house chores, etc. Kids with ADHD are more able to follow instructions by example rather than if you gave it to them verbally.
Reward Positive Behaviours
Rewarding positive behaviours will let your child know that these behaviours are appreciated and will encourage them to perform them often. Do not hesitate to praise your child. Have a points-reward system for every positive behaviour he shows and give gifts when he accumulates a certain number of points.
Punish Negative Behaviours
Never fall into the trap of turning a blind eye on your child’s negative behaviour just because he has ADHD. Practice timeout on your child as you would a child without ADHD (one minute for every year of life). Explain to your child that there is always a consequence for every negative behaviour.
It can become frustrating to discipline a child with ADHD but shouting doesn’t really achieve anything good. Be calm when dealing with your child. Let them know that they are being punished for their bad behaviour and not because they themselves are bad. Praise your child for behaving well during time out.