When most people think of ADHD they think about kids and teens that have trouble focusing on paying attention; however, many kids with ADHD also have behavioral issues, as well. In fact, it is these behavioral problems that often pose a much bigger problem than inattentiveness. Children with ADHD may be irritable, defiant or prone to temper tantrums. While these aren’t actual symptoms of ADHD they are often the result of having ADHD.
For example, one classic symptom of ADHD is impulsivity. This means that it can be challenging for a child with ADHD to be able to sit still. They may need to move around or wander. They may even need to run around, which can be stressful for parents or teachers. Furthermore, repetitive tasks are difficult for children with ADHD to perform. They may be challenging for your child to complete and, as a result, you may deal with a bit of resistance from them. Unfortunately, this can often lead to tantrums. Many parents try different discipline strategies but still deal with behavioral issues. This is where our pediatric team can help.
We work with children and teens with ADHD, as well as their families, to help find effective strategies that reduce the negative behaviors while fostering positive ones. Certain disciplining strategies just don’t work and could even make matters worse. Our goal is to make sure that your child’s behavioral issues are properly managed and that your child also knows how to manage their feelings and behaviors to improve learning and school performance, relationship development and even home life.
Managing ADHD Behaviors Effectively
You might be surprised to learn that children and teens with ADHD often need more structure than kids that don’t. Parents should be very clear about what behaviors are acceptable and to help teach those acceptable behaviors as often and as clearly as possible. Therefore, praising a child for good behavior is one very powerful tool that can help reduce negative and disruptive behaviors. Parents are models for their children, and by showing them acceptable behaviors kids can also learn from them.
Along with modeling and rewarding good behavior, there are also training programs designed specifically for parents to help teach them how to interact and work with their child to reduce behavioral issues. Furthermore, we may also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling for your child. A psychologist can work with your child to help them manage and modulate their own emotions and behaviors as well as develop social skills that can improve how they interact with others.
Sometimes ADHD medication is necessary to help reduce your teen or child’s ADHD symptoms. Before beginning any medication, your pediatrician will talk with you about what to expect. Medication is not a cure, it’s only a tool to help your child manage their symptoms and should be combined with proper training and therapy for the most effective results.