18 GREAT IDEAS FOR MANAGING CHILDREN OR TEENS WITH ADHD
1. Reduce time delays and externalize time.
Keep waiting times to a minimum if possible. Use timers, clocks, counters, or other devices that show time as something physical whenever there are limits to completing tasks.
2. Externalize important information.
Post reminders, cues, prompts, and other key pieces of information at critical points in the environment to remind the child or teen of that must be done.
3. Externalize motivation (think “win/win”)
Use token systems, reward programs, privileges or other reinforcers to help motivate the child or teen with ADHD.
4. Externalize problem solving.
Try to reduce mental problems to physical ones or manual tasks, where the pieces of the problem can be manually manipulated to find solutions or invent new ideas.
5. Use immediate feedback.
Act quickly after a behavior to provide more immediate positive or negative feedback.
6. Increase frequency of consequences.
Give more feedback and consequences for behavior more often than is necessary for a child or teen who does not have ADHD.
7. Increase accountability to others.
Make the child or teen publicly accountable to someone several time across the day (or task or setting) when things need to get done.
8. Use more salient and artificial rewards.
Children and teens with ADHD need more powerful incentives to motivate them to do what others do with little external motivation from others. You may need to use food, toys, privileges, tokens, money or other material (artificial) rewards to help motivate them to work.
9. Change rewards periodically.
People with ADHD seem to get bored more easily with certain rewards, so you may need to find new ones periodically to keep the program interesting.
10. Touch more, talk less.
When you must give an instruction, approval or reprimand: Go to the child or teen, touch him/her on the hand, forearm or shoulder. Look him/her in the eye
Briefly (!) state your business then encourage the child or teen to restate what you just said.
11. Act, don’t yak.
Provide more immediate consequences to deal with both good and poor behavior, rather than “talking the issue to death” by nagging, nattering or lengthy moralizing about the problem.
12. Negotiate rather than dictate.
Follow these six steps to effective problem negotiation:
* Define the problem: Write it down and keep family members on task.
* Generate a list of all possible solutions. No criticisms are permitted at this stage.
* After all solutions are listed, briefly let each person critique each possibility.
* Select the most agreeable option.
* Make this a behavior contract (all family members sign it).
* Establish penalties for breaking the contract.