ADHD Treatment Tips to Reduce the Need for Medication
There’s no shortage of parenting advice out there. The old adage of “children don’t come with an owner’s manual” died with the invention of the Internet. Unfortunately for parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), just what advice to follow isn’t an easy choice. When choosing an ADHD treatment for your child, you will undoubtedly be faced with the question of starting immediately with medication or the possibility of trying behavioral strategies first.
If you have been debating on which ADHD treatment to use for your child and you just don’t like the idea of starting with medication, read and follow the simple behavioral strategies below. Start implementing them today and you just might be surprised with the results.
ADHD Treatment for Children using 4 Simple Behavioral Strategies
1. Begin by focusing on Positive Behaviors.
Children with ADHD seem to always be in trouble. They get in trouble at school for not being able to sit still, for blurting out answers, for acting impulsively with friends. They get in trouble at home for making messes, not completing their homework, not completing their chores, and fighting with siblings. If you want to see dramatic improvement in your ADHD child’s behaviors, start by focusing on his positive behaviors. It may be hard at first. You’re very used to constantly correcting the negative behaviors. Start small. If your child does something as simple as put his shoes away, praise him for doing so. The theory behind this strategy of ADHD treatment is that the more you give attention to the positive behaviors, the more your child will likely do the positive behaviors because he enjoys getting positive attention from you.
2. Setting Goals.
This is another effective ADHD treatment strategy for children. Set goals your ADHD child can achieve and add to those goals in small steps. You want your child to feel confident and realize he can accomplish goals. So tackle large problems in small steps. For example, let’s say your child has trouble completing his homework every night. Start with rewarding him if he completes his math homework nightly without a fight or other behavioral disturbance. Then add to the goal as he is successful.
3. Be consistent.
This is another very important strategy in effective ADHD treatment for children. As with any child, children with ADHD need consistency. Set up a daily and weekly schedule for your family so your child knows exactly what is expected of him on any given day.
4. Don’t expect instant results.
Your child’s habits and behaviors took months or even years to get to this point. Don’t expect that positive praise, goal setting, and other ADHD treatment strategies to immediately make dramatic improvements in your child’s behaviors. And don’t let setbacks bother you. Setbacks are a normal part of changing your child’s behaviors. After all, two steps forward, one step back is still making forward progress.
If you’ve tried these ADHD treatment strategies and still haven’t seen changes in your child’s behaviors, then it might be time to see a Child Counselor or Pediatrician. Child Counseling and Family Counseling at Tender Hearts can address a variety of ADHD behaviors in children and can help stressed parents begin to feel more in control of their ADHD child’s behaviors.