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ADHD in Children Health Center

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Parenting a Child With ADHD

Parents often criticize children with ADHD for their behavior -- but it's more helpful to seek out and praise good behavior instead of punishing or taking away things for bad behavior. Ways to do this include:

Recommended Related to ADD-ADHD - Pediatric

Diagnosing ADHD in Children

Although some pediatricians with special training in the disorder will diagnose ADHD in children, most will refer you and your child to a mental health professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or social worker trained in diagnosing and treating the disorder. You can also find a professional who specializes in ADHD diagnosis through your health plan, your child’s teacher or school counselor, other parents of children with ADHD, or nonprofit organizations such as Children and...

Read the Diagnosing ADHD in Children article > >

  • Providing clear, consistent expectations, directions, and limits. Children with ADHD need to know exactly what others expect from them.
  • Setting up an effective discipline system. That means learning discipline methods that reward appropriate behavior and respond to misbehavior with alternatives such as time out or loss of privileges.
  • Creating a behavior modification plan to change the most problematic behaviors. Behavior charts that track your child's chores or responsibilities and that offer potential rewards for positive behaviors can be helpful tools. These charts, as well as other behavior modification techniques, will help parents address problems in systematic, effective ways.

Children with ADHD may need help organizing their time and belongings. You can encourage your child with ADHD to:

  • Stay on a schedule. Your child will function best if he has the same routine every day, from wake-up to bedtime. Be sure to include homework and playtime in the schedule. Kids may benefit from a visual representation of their schedule , such as a calendar or list. Review this with them often.
  • Organize everyday items. Your child should have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. This includes clothing, backpacks, and school supplies.
  • Use homework and notebook organizers. Stress the importance of having your child write down assignments and bring home the needed books. A checklist at the end of the day can be helpful to make sure items like schoolbooks, lunch boxes, and jackets are brought home each day.

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