ADHD Power Struggle


My seven-year-old puts up a fight when it’s time to take her medication. I’ve tried everything — from threatening to punish her to offering rewards if she takes it. This morning, she took the pill from her day-care provider with no problems. Now I feel like it’s not about the pill — it’s about me, and some sort of power struggle.

Winning the power struggle with your ADHD child who refuses to take her medication.

If your daughter takes her ADHD medication for the day-care provider, but not for you, it does sound like a power struggle.

Rather than concentrate on the battle itself, concentrate on something you can control — your response to the battle. The less emotional you are, the fewer signals you will send your child that she has a chance of winning. All kids will hold out for what they want (or in this case, what she doesn’t want) if they think they have a chance of victory.

Even if you’re seething inside, pretend to be unaffected by her opposition. Breathe deeply. You should also try to choose your battles. Since your daughter takes her pill for the day-care provider, why fight it? Let her administer your child’s medication.

Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.
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