Tips for Improving ADHD Behavior

I was just reading an article called ADHD and Young Children: Unlocking the Secrets to Good Behavior.

It made some noteworthy points. Here are a couple with my commentary.

The first point was about adapting behavioral control techniques for kids with ADHD. The example used (reducing time-out time periods) was a slight modification of the technique which wasn’t materially different from how it would be used with non-ADHD children. I can see both sides of the argument here though.

I have agreed in theory in other entries to the idea that every kid is different and parents should take that into account when setting rules (such as different curfews for siblings if one is more responsible than another). When creating or modifying rules for ADHD kids, I think you run the risk of not holding them to the same standard. That isn’t what the author of the article is advocating, but I can see how easily that could happen. It can be a slippery slope from modifying techniques to modifying standards.

Another point in the article was about focusing attention on positive behaviors in order to reinforce them and ignoring negative behaviors so the child gets no attention for them. I think that is also good advice – in general. The article goes on to say that “Inappropriate or irritating behavior should be ignored 100% of the time while appropriate behavior should be praised 70% to 80% of the time at first, and then to less than half the time as things improve.”

That was stated too strongly. The example used in the article about ignoring a kids making silly noises while finishing homework may fit in with the statement perfectly well, but to say that negative behaviors should be ignored 100% of the time is not realistic for any number of reasons.

The article actually has many more points than I covered here. Even if I don’t agree with everything in it, I think it’s worthwhile reading for parents and worth thinking about.

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