Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, the name actually describes the content of this behavior pattern. The name itself is the content of this behavior pattern, which is characterized by such abnormally high levels of inattention, and hyperactivity or both, that it becomes disruptive and disabling.
A very common phenomenon that is exhibited by people with ADHD is their inability to stick to any conversation or task. It is not unusual to have a child with ADHD, give random replies when asked a question. You could well be asking if your child wants a mango, and after twenty seconds, get a reply that is completely disconnected like “I think Hiren was very mean for taking away my eraser”.
This is not because your child is being rude, or disregarding what you have to say. It’s quite probable that when you asked him whether he wanted a mango, he thought of the color yellow, and then remembered that Hiren had taken away his yellow eraser and was mean about it.
Obviously these responses are guaranteed to send any parent, round the bend, and that is why children with ADHD are so misunderstood, that they go into depression. This then adds to the problems, as when you try and get rid of the depression, your child insists on taking a path away from you.
Disciplining a child with ADHD, is at one level, extremely simple, and at another very complex. Sounds like an oxymoron? Of course it is. If you are not aware, that your child has ADHD, all punishments become counterproductive and can actually reduce the ability of the child to cope with daily life to the extent of extreme dis-functionality.
Children with ADHD, are usually pretty bright toddlers. Their lack of attention span is made up for by a very quick grasp of basic ideas and concepts. They tend to excel effortlessly, but as they grow older all mundane work, such as studies which are repetitive and boring makes their grades fall. The more you scold and punish, the less the motivation, the higher the degree of failure. What most parents find it difficult to grasp is that the child is himself or herself struggling with the gap between the perceived potential and the reality of poor performance.
The older the child gets, and the more the reliance on the long term memory and the greater the need for repetitive revisiting, the greater the dip in performance. Your child, starts to lose self- esteem and it is all the harder because everybody is putting something out of his or her control, down to willful negligence. Caught in the middle of the lack of motivation due to a fast reducing self-worth, and rebelliousness increased by resentment at being punished for something the child cannot help, the behavior deteriorates at an accelerated pace.
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The key note, to disciplining a child with ADHD is to be aware of the problem. Even with the knowledge it is a hard task as a disorder adds exponentially to the already existing problems of disciplining a child whether adolescent or younger.
The first step is the diagnosis, once you have that you need to read up on ADHD just so you are able to differentiate between normal adolescent or pre-adolescent bad behavior that can and should be corrected and behavior that is annoying but outside the child’s control. Excessively fidgety behavior for example, is one of the cornerstones of ADHD. Expecting such a child to sit in one place and study consistently for two hours or even one, night be perfectly in order for a fourteen year old without ADHD but almost impossible for a child with ADHD.
Children with ADHD don’t need to be punished because they can’t sit still, or study for hours at a stretch. The most important thing to remember is that if you remove the need for bad behavior, you take away the ladder that helps your child reach the point of behaving badly. Alternative study strategies are extremely important in the scheme of things.
Waking up your child early so that they can study for a bit, before going to school ensuring that they are able to put in some work soon after they reach home and so on. the list is probably endless. You have to decide based on how much attention span and concentration ability your child has and then a further round of study later in the evening.
A lot of parents are fooled by their child’s ability to concentrate fiercely on something the child enjoys doing. It could a playing a sport, it could be reading or any one of a myriad of other activities. It is important to take the learnings from these experiences and translate them into an individualized study pattern for your child.
Keeping your child interested and engaged by providing innovative study materials that will catch the child’s fancy. Short bursts of study with frequent breaks, getting your child to find a study partner are some of the ways in which you can help your child focus and strive for his or her goals.
These strategies immediately reduce friction, increase output and strive to turn weaknesses into strengths. If you can successfully implement them. These few basic rules, help to remove resentment, motivate your child and allow you to focus on issues of discipline as applicable to any normal teenager or below.
Please don’t run away with the idea, that there will be no discipline issues because you have managed to implement these study strategies, all other adolescent bad behavior patterns will still be the bane of your life and for those you will have to look for ways to discipline your child.
While punishing your child, you would do well to remember that consequences for a child with ADHD connote something very different from what the words would mean to a child without ADHD. One of the most remarkable things about kids with ADHD is their ability to forget so if the consequence of a misdeed is that you have taken away the child’s favorite belonging it is on the cards that the child will simply obliterate that belonging from his or her memory.