My Child Just Doesn't Listen! And More Frustrating Discipline Problems

Your child is funny, charming, and spontaneous — but sometimes, the traits that make you love her so much conspire to drive you (and everyone else) up the wall! Here, Dr. Peter Jaska shares solutions to five of the most common behavior problems for impulsive kids with ADHD.

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4. "My child overreacts to nearly everything."

Heightened emotionality is a characteristic of ADHD. For kids with attention deficit disorder, failure doesn’t merely discourage, it devastates. While most children protest a bit about being disciplined, kids with ADHD often react with intense indignation and anger. Disciplining an overreactive child is risky, if it may trigger World War III.

Chronic overreaction to discipline — particularly when intense feelings of anger or frustration are involved — may not be due to ADHD alone. Is the child overreacting because she feels criticized? Unloved? Inadequate? Helpless? Overwhelmed? Are your expectations too high?

5. “My child won’t listen to me.”

Is there a parent anywhere who has not tried to have a serious conversation with a child — only to be met with indifference (“Who are you and why are you bothering me with this stuff?”)? If such a conversation involves discipline, your message isn’t getting through.

If your child tunes you out on a regular basis, do a self-check. Have you become too negative or critical? Do you focus too much on problems and not enough on solutions? Have your conversations become lectures, instead of give-and-take? Does the child feel left out of the decision-making process?

No matter what your child’s age, you can involve him in the process of establishing rules and consequences for breaking them. A child who is included in setting the family rules is more likely to respect them.

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TAGS: Behavior in ADHD Kids, ADHD and Discipline

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