ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is primarily treated through therapy sessions initiated by a therapist or parent. It is important for parents to not only take their child to sessions regularly but also implement what the child learned into your daily routine. Here are tips that will help you manage the symptoms of ADHD with your child at home.
You can’t get anything done if you don’t know where you’re going. Setting small goals for your child can help them strive towards making positive changes. These goals can be as simple as remembering to finish their homework on time or picking up toys in their room. Write down these goals so your child has a tangible reminder to accomplish them. Having a list on paper can also let you, as the parent, know about the progress your child made. You could put the list on the fridge as a reminder for your child to accomplish their goals.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Odds are, attending therapy sessions will be new to the both of you. It can be scary for a child to enter a new environment with people who criticize everything they do. One of the best ways to help ease your child into therapy is to practice a reward system. When your child meets one of the goals that you set for them, reward them with a video game, candy, or a toy. By rewarding your child for displaying good behaviors or meeting a specific goal, they are likely to display that behavior again.
Be Consistent with Rewards and Consequences
Rewarding your child for good behavior is encouraged; however, too many rewards and too little consequences will do more harm than good. Remember to stay consistent with what kind of rewards you give to your child and what punishments you deal out for bad behavior. Your rewards and punishments should align with the type of goal accomplished or missed. If your child hits a huge milestone of sitting still to take a test, there should be a big reward. If your child lashes out and hurts someone else, there should be a bigger consequence waiting for them.
Along the same line of keeping things consistent, your child’s daily routine should stay as close to the same as possible every day. On school days, make sure that your child wakes up around the same time to brush their teeth, eat breakfast, and get on the bus. Once they come home, keep things structured by having homework time and dinner around the same time every night. As for chores, keep a written to-do list for your child to mark off goals that they completed. Of course, there is room for flexibility in your child’s schedule (like for weekends), but you should strive to keep things as structured as possible.
Practice Strategies Learned in Therapy at Home
One of the best ways to see how therapy sessions are going with your child is to test out what they learned. ADHD behavioral therapy is a tool to teach your child how to limit disruptive behaviors and strengthen good ones. Through the therapy sessions, your child will learn how to respond to positive reinforcement techniques and discipline positively. Your therapist is there to support you through your journey if you reach any stumbling blocks, but the goal is to learn how to implement the techniques on your own.
Talk with your School Counselor
Before, during, and after the therapy process, your child’s school counselor is an excellent resource to rely on. School counselors are trained in evidence-based interventions (EBIs) designed to support students with ADHD. If you are struggling to implement things taught in therapy to your child’s routine, your school counselor can give you new tips to try. By setting up appointments with your child’s school counselor, you can also learn more about your child’s progress in the classroom and what your child needs to work on.