Updated: Sep 7
When faced with difficult situations, children may occasionally lose their temper or experience emotional outbursts.
Behaviour issues, such as uncontrolled tantrums, aggressive physical behaviour, and repetitive emotional outbursts, may interfere with children’s ability to function in school and may cause turmoil at home.
Targeted behaviour interventions tailored to meet each child’s needs can prevent these challenging behaviours and teach children to use communication through positive behaviours in response to challenges. Effective behaviour intervention plans can effectively minimize negative behaviours and ensure a healthy educational environment that optimizes learning and can improve family interactions.
Here are 5 behavioural strategies to help manage your child's ADHD:
1. Give praise and rewards when rules are followed. Children with ADHD often receive and expect criticism more so than other children. This can really impact self-esteem. Some days, you might have to really look for good behaviour, but you should praise good behaviour at least five times more often than you criticize bad behaviour.
2. Give clear, effective directions or commands. Make eye contact or gently touch on arm or shoulder to get his or her attention. Give brief, simple steps and short commands that get to the point rather than multiple directions or wordy statements and questions.
3. Establish healthy habits. If your child is on a medication, it should be taken as prescribed. Contact your child's health care provider if problems arise. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet consisting of three meals, a snack and adequate fluids daily, and has an outlet for some form of daily exercise. These healthy habits will help your child to feel his or her best and help minimize ADHD symptoms.
4. Develop routines around homework and chores. Work together to make a checklist of what needs to be done surrounding daily chores, getting ready for bed and school for your child to refer to when he or she gets off task. Encourage your child to use a daily planner so he or she is aware of all homework assignments. Have an established time and location for homework, and use a timer to remind your child to show you how the homework is going two to four times per hour. Factor in brain breaks if your child needs them and movement between tasks or use of an appropriate fidget.
5. Help your child build relationships, strong social skills and maintain friendships. Be a good role model of behaviour you want your child to use. Factor in some special time three to five days a week with your child that is conflict-free and does not involve a screen to help maintain a strong parent-child relationship. Help your child develop at least one close friendship. With younger children, parents may need to take the lead to arrange and host play dates or get kids involved in activities where there are kids the same age.
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