Q: Every Request Becomes a Chore War with Our Tween
Does your tween launch a chore war — complete with stomping, slamming, and whining — every time you remind him to complete a chore? Could rewards and incentives help solve this common ADHD behavior problem? Read Ryan Wexelblatt’s advice for oppositional boys with ADHD below.
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Q: “My son is 12 and in 7th grade. I notice that, when asked to do minor chores or help with non-preferred tasks, he resorts to stomping, door slamming, crying, and whining before completing the task under duress. Is it reasonable to expect that he demonstrate that he can respond to requests more appropriately before we get him a smartphone? I would like to talk with him about this expectation and give him the next 7 months to start working on this. Is this too much?”
A: “If you’re telling me that your son is stomping his feet and slamming doors, but then eventually does what you ask him to do, what he’s doing is putting on a show. The best thing you can do is not give attention to that unwanted negative behavior. Ignore those behaviors when they happen and be very clear to him about your expectations…”
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Chore Wars: Next Steps
1. Read This: How Chores Help to Build Responsibility and Independence
2. Read This: “How I Got My Kids to Do Their Chores”
3. Consult This: Behavior Chart Rewards That Motivate Kids