Parents of kids with ADHD: What works for you?
October 15, 2010 11:37 AM   Subscribe

What resources have been helpful in teaching you parenting strategies for managing your child's behavior? Other parents, clinicians, internet, random inspiration? What have you tried in the past that didn't work, and why? What's working now?

I'm interested in learning more about the real-world applications for behavior management for ADHD (both as a student and eventual future parent.) There is a good bit of literature on behavioral interventions, but I want to know what the MeFites are doing.

Please provide author, title, link to website, keywords, etc, some way I can find the primary source. Or at least tell me where you got the advice. ("psychiatrist," "another parent," "counselor," etc)

To avoid the thread getting sidetracked, please don't go off on a BLARG SUGAR GLUTEN RED DYE TELEVISION rant - these things are relevant, but keep it positive.
posted by KITTYFLOWER to Human Relations (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
With my clients (5-17 y/o kids) I encourage them and their parents to break things down into smaller steps. For example, don't say to your 15 y/o with an ADHD Diagnosis: "Clean your room." Say, "Pick up the clothes on the floor, then go outside for 10 min and skate, #next task." Rinse, wash, repeat with different tasks. Reminders and breaks are helpful. Some kids also do well with written reminders, like big wall calendars or post-its. Others need audio cues or verbal reminders. YMMV.
posted by ShadePlant at 11:48 AM on October 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

I would also encourage being strength-based. I've seen a lot of kids and teens get frustrated, e.g. "I can't do this paper/I hate math" because they have problems focusing. Remind them of what they can do well and again, try to break the material down in a way they can digest it. Being overwhlemed can lead to all/nothing thinking and kids thinking their diagnosis makes them "dumb" or whatever.
posted by ShadePlant at 11:57 AM on October 15, 2010

The teacher feedback system described in Russell Barkly's Taking Charge of ADHD helped my son through elementary school (he's in college now). I printed up notecards for his teachers to fill out every day. Medication was necessary but not sufficient. We couldn't even be sure what dosage was correct for him without the notes.
posted by Ery at 11:58 AM on October 15, 2010

(Barkley, not Barkly. Sorry.)
posted by Ery at 11:58 AM on October 15, 2010

I apply the (ridiculously easy) principles in 1-2-3 Magic just about every day in our household of two 4 1/2 year olds and one 2 1/2 year old. So easy and it really works.
posted by widdershins at 12:16 PM on October 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Incredible Years by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, despite its awful cover, and the classes we took based on it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:00 PM on October 15, 2010

Embarrassing as it is - the wife and I watch Supernanny fairly regularly. And we apply a lot of her stuff to our 5 yo. Lots of it seems to work fairly well. So watch some Supernanny episodes.
posted by thatguyjeff at 1:17 PM on October 15, 2010

People are aware that the question is specifically about behavioral approaches for kids with ADHD, right?
posted by not that girl at 1:50 PM on October 15, 2010

My kid has Aspergers, not ADHD, but there are a lot of overlaps in the behavior issues. The most valuable resource I have found, both in concrete advice for managing behavior and in framing the reasons for the behavior is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. See also the website Think:Kids.
posted by Daily Alice at 2:27 PM on October 15, 2010

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