10 Rules for Parents of Defiant Kids with ADHD
Is your child blatantly defiant and confrontational, and standard discipline is not working? Follow these 10 steps:
1. Stay Positive
Rewarding good behavior works better than punishing bad behavior. Boost your child's self-esteem by "catching them being good" and giving them a ton of praise.
2. Treat Before You Punish
Never discipline your child for behaviors that are symptoms of ADHD. Discuss a treatment plan with your provider, and once things are under control, you will know which behaviors are punishable vs. which are not.
3. Use Your Words
Instead of overreacting, try speaking slowly and calmly - modelling to your child how to behave when upset.
4. Avoid Meltdowns
Plan an escape strategy for events to ensure a quiet, tantrum-free goodbye. Discuss with your child ahead of time, and when the moment is right, say something like, "it's time to be a magician and become invisible". Then stage your exit.
5. Keep Your Cool
When your child is angry or yelling, don't yell back (it rarely accomplishes anything positive). Work deliberately and controlled. Take some deep breaths or steal a moment away to pause if you can.
6. Be Clear About Rules & Consequences
Communicate clearly about what behavior is not allowed, as well as the consequences. The consistently enforce the rules.
7. Play Before Punishing
Make time to play and have with your child. This strengthens your bond in a positive way.
8. Know Your Child's Patterns
Get to know your child's quirks and triggers so you can understand the difference between defiance and overwhelm. This will help you have a plan for potentially explosive situations.
9. Determine the True Cause
Sometimes behavior may be multi-factored. Discuss with your provider if you have additional or ongoing behavior concerns.
10. Ask Yourself If You're Contributing
Is your temper flaring too often or does your impulsive behavior undermine discipline efforts? Seek your own professional assistance to determine ways that you could manage your own actions and reactions.
As mentioned in #9, talk with your provider or a specialist for more suggestions and help discovering the best plan for your child.