Parenting an ADHD Child? Five Secrets of Better Discipline

Dr. Peter Jaksa shares his fool-proof strategies for managing your lovable, impulsive child with attention deficit disorder.


Filed Under: Behavior in ADHD Kids, ADHD and Discipline
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2. "My child doesn’t care about consequences."

Whether it’s withholding TV privileges, or refusing to let your child attend a party, consequences are most effective when they’re imposed as soon as possible after an infraction. If you delay the imposition of consequences, you’re blunting their emotional impact.

Sometimes consequences that were once effective stop being effective after they’ve been used for a while. As with many other things involving ADHD, repetition leads to boredom. Devise a variety of consequences and vary them from time to time.

Consequences should have time limits: long enough to teach a lesson but short enough to give the child a chance to move on to more positive things. The punishment should fit the crime. Overly harsh consequences will encourage your child to resent your rules and your authority — and will generate more anger and rebelliousness.

3. “My child doesn’t take me seriously.”

Why doesn’t your child show respect for you or your rules? Are the rules clear to the child? Important rules should be put in writing.

Does the child not accept the rules because she considers them unfair? In that case, the child’s objections and the parent’s reasons for the rules need further discussion.

If you want your child to respect the rules, enforce them consistently. That means not “forgetting about” the rules or occasionally suspending them because you feel guilty or because your child (or spouse) pressures you to do so. If you bluff or make empty threats, you’re sacrificing your credibility and weakening your authority as a parent.

Next: My child overreacts to nearly everything

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