When it comes to parenting children with ADHD, nothing is more difficult than trying to persuade them to do something they don’t want to do. You’ve tried being demanding, being nice, and even helping them out a few times, but nothing works. They continue to ignore your directions and even throw tantrums when they get too upset. There’s no doubting the added burden that ADHD places on parenting your child, but we’ve put together some tips to help manage anger, create order, and incentivize good behavior for ADHD children.
Telling your ADHD child to clean their room may seem like a straightforward instruction, but it could be too broad for them to be able to find a solid starting point. This leads to an inattentive and unfocused attitude towards the directive, which then leads them to delay or ignore the order completely.
Instead of basic orders like “Clean your room,” “Do your homework,” and “Get ready for dinner,” create specific directions that come with clear instructions. For example, instead of telling your child to clean their room, tell them to put all of their toys away. For even stronger instruction and better communication, Provide a set deadline – “Put all of your toys away before bedtime tonight.” This gives your child an allotted time to complete the chore, making it seem like a more manageable and reasonable task to them and making their behavior more manageable and reasonable for you.
Make it Fun
A lot of the time, all ADHD children want to do is play, play, and play. This can make them especially fussy or angry when it comes to doing chores or other responsibilities – their minds are only focused on their short-term happiness, not long-term results. Keep their temper and hyperactivity in check by making a game out of otherwise boring responsibilities. Helping out with dinner can turn into a fun cooking game, and playing music while folding laundry can become a karaoke session. You can even try giving them short breaks in between chores to lessen their boredom.
Because ADHD children lose interest quickly, you’ll constantly be using your imagination – and theirs – to come up with creative ways to draw their attention back to their daily tasks. Although this may seem tiresome at times, remember that you’re helping to create a positive learning experience that will shape the way they approach responsibilities in the future, and don’t give up!
Sometimes, no matter what you do, your child will refuse to do something they are supposed to. They’ll cry, yell, throw tantrums or other outbursts, and you’ll give in to them for the day. The occasional secession is okay, but remember to establish rules and boundaries with your child regarding chores, tasks, and other responsibilities. It’s important that your child understands the consequences of not following directions, so be sure to carefully discuss with them the reasons and repercussions for their actions. Conversely, if your child is behaving particularly well, reward their good behavior with fun activities and incentives.
Setting boundaries for your child’s behavior helps teach them about right and wrong, and assists in developing their sense of responsibility, accountability, and maturity. Be stern when you need to be, but also be careful in determining the right balance between discipline and support.
It’s normal for your ADHD child to sometimes be angry or upset when faced with an unwanted task, but it’s up to both of you to work together and create an environment that will help them overcome their symptoms and achieve their full potential.