Your ADHD Education Guide: Behavior & Impulse Control

Experts and readers answer questions on ADHD-related tantrums, disobedience, and unfair punishments from school authorities.

How to help your child with ADHD manage impulsivity in the classroom.
Dear ADDitude: Part 6
Our readers ask: How can we manage defiance and promote good behavior — at home and at school?



Question 1:

“My son has shown some violent and defiant behavior at school. He complains that he is bored, and I suspect that is why he is acting up. How can we make his school routine more engaging?Read the answer.


Question 2:

My son is quick to react when provoked by other kids. He erupts into temper tantrums at school, even when his teacher smooths transitions and offers him a safe place to cool off. What accommodations could help with these angry outbursts?” Read the answer.


Question 3:

“My son is getting in trouble for pestering other kids in line, shoving classmates in gym class, and noisily disrupting music class. He’s well behaved at home, so I wonder if he’s reacting to his teacher’s discipline tactics. What can I do?” Read the answer.


Question 4:

“My son recently hit his best friend for telling him to shut up. We have tried several consequences, but nothing works and we are at the end of our rope. How can we discipline him more appropriately for impulse control problems?Read the answer.


Question 5:

“My son recently got two days of in-school detention for fighting over a pencil, which meant lost recess today. He came home very moody and whiny; obviously emotionally distraught. I feel taking away two days of recess is ridiculous. How do I talk to his teacher?” Read the answer.


Question 6:

“My son hangs out with a group of very active and physical boys who sometimes play rough. When this happens, the principal seems to single out my son for especially harsh and random punishments. How do I approach the school about this unfair treatment?” Read the answer.


Question 7:

“My child’s principal has told me, ‘This behavior was not related to his ADHD.‘ How do I determine if this true? And how can I fight the school administration over his expulsion if a disability is, in fact, to blame?” Read the answer.