5 Tips for Giving Effective Consequences to ADHD Kids: Step–by–Step

The first step is to identify the underlying problem that is causing your child to overreact to minor incidents. This may require professional consultation and assessment by an appropriately trained mental health professional. For children with severe ADHD symptoms, medication may be needed. For others, therapy or a special education program to address the underlying impairment may be in order.

Here are five tips for parenting that can help:

Keep your child’s developmental level in mind. Remember that your 7–year–old with ADHD may developmentally be a 4–year–old. Your expectations need to be appropriate to your child’s developmental age, not his or her chronological age. For example, for a 9–year–old child with ADHD, you might want to assign chores appropriate for a 6 or 7–year–old. A 13–year–old with the social skills of a 10–year–old would benefit from coaching on social skills.
Give Time outs Sparingly: For ADHD children, time outs should be used sparingly for serious situations (harming property or persons) and should be brief. My rule of thumb is that a time out for an ADHD child should be one–minute times your child’s age, less three years. In other words, a time out for a child of 7 would be 4 minutes.

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