Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to Change ADHD Behaviors

Any number of negative and socially unacceptable behaviors may be present in a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Parents may be under pressure to deal with all the symptoms right away and this causes a lot of stress. In fact, it adds to the stress of just keeping up with a child arguing when it is time to go sleep, not remaining seated when she needs to, oversensitive senses that cause anger outbursts, overstimulation and forgetfulness.
Of course, as a parent it is only natural to want to eradicate all the symptoms immediately and to have a well-behave and socially acceptable child in no time. However, this is bound to turn into disaster. When parents suddenly want to change everything about the child, she may feel victimized or bullied. This will result in resentment towards the parents and manifest in worse behavior. Worse behavior will bring about more change and punishment and so the vicious cycle continues.
Experts suggest that the parents target one or two behaviors to address at a time. One could choose the two most disruptive or destructive behaviors first and deal with those.
The parents should discuss the ways in which the behavior is affecting the child, the parents and the family as a whole and why it would be good to change it. Small steps could be put in place with the input of the child, to completely eradicate the problem over time.
As motivation, parents can offer a non-monetary reward for reaching the goal and fair, yet swift consequences for slipping back to the old behaviors. Once the behavior has been significantly reduced over a period of a week or so, a bigger reward should be given, such as allowing him or her to go to bed later one weekend night.
However, parents should take caution with the rewards. If the child constantly forgets to do homework and the behavior has improved, the reward should not be going out for an ice-cream during homework time. In that case the child should first do homework and then be taken out afterwards.
When ADHD kids are taken out of their routine, they tend to slip right back to the old behavior patterns.

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