7 Ways To Help Children With ADHD at home

The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne have suggested these behavioural strategies to help parents who have a child with ADHD.

Strategies for home

It’s often easy to focus on the negative aspects of a child’s behaviour, and you may feel that at times your child’s behaviour is out of control. Their behaviour at home is likely to improve through a combination of rewards and reinforcement for positive ‘good’ behaviours, and consequences for negative behaviours.

  • Consider implementing a positive behaviour system in your home. A reward chart for younger children or token economy for older children can add incentive for your child to increase desirable behaviours. Change the rewards frequently so that your child doesn’t get bored. This strategy can help switch your focus to times when your child is behaving well.
  • Have a set of family rules that are written down. Be explicit about what happens when these rules are followed (e.g. rewards) and what happens when they are not (consequences) and try to be consistent with this approach.
  • Try to ‘catch’ your child being helpful, friendly or respectful and give them positive attention and praise for this behaviour. Make sure you are specific about what behaviours you really like and want to encourage.
  • Ignore common minor attention-seeking behaviours. Turn away from your child or walk away, and respond only when they speak appropriately. Constantly attending to negative behaviours can teach a child that this is the best way to get your full attention.
  • Use logical consequences for poor behaviours, e.g. homework should be completed before television, and if they take too long to complete the homework, they may miss out on watching their favourite show.
  • Try to keep any consequences immediate, and ensure that they are consequences you can follow through with. For younger children, consequences should be linked to something happening that day, not on the weekend. If consequences are the removal of privileges, ensure it is short-lived and the child is aware when it will be returned to them.
  • Set aside small, regular sessions of one-on-one time with your child doing an activity your child wants to do. This helps to send the message that you love them and enjoy spending time with them.

 This information was provided by the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. For the latest version of this information, go to www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo.

See also strategies for school and homework to help children with ADHD