Impulse Control: Helping ADHD Students Manage Their Behaviors

ADHD children often get in trouble for acting on their impulses. Find techniques for home and school that will help children with attention deficit disorder learn to rein in bad behaviors.


Filed Under: ADHD Symptoms, School Behavior, Back to School
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Solutions at Home

Children with ADHD have difficulty telling right and wrong, so parents must be specific, stating clear, consistent expectations and consequences. Telling your child to "be good" is too vague. Instead, be explicit: "When we go into the store, do not touch, just look with your eyes." "At the playground, wait in line for the slide, and don't push." Other strategies to try:

-- Be proactive in your approach to discipline. Respond to positive and negative behaviors equally. Recognize and remark on the behavior, then respond to positive actions with praise, attention, and rewards or immediately discipline negative actions.

-- Hold your child accountable. Making your child understand what he did wrong is essential in molding a responsible adult. However, delayed punishment may prevent a child from understanding its relationship to the misbehavior. Punishment must come soon after the misbehavior.

-- Let the punishment fit the crime. Hitting calls for an immediate time out. Dinnertime tantrums can mean dismissal from the table without dessert. Keep punishments brief and restrained, but let them communicate to your child that he's responsible for controlling his behavior.

-- Let minor misbehaviors slide. If your child spills the milk because he's pouring it carelessly or hurriedly, talk to him about the importance of moving more slowly, help him clean the mess, and move on. Every misstep doesn't warrant significant consequences.


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