Advertisement

How should I deal with temper tantrums in my child with ADHD?

The difference between punishment and positive reinforcement has dramatic consequences for your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) child's behavior and your relationship with her. When you chose to ignore the temper tantrum, you were taking away one reinforce for such behavior. It may be that by throwing a temper tantrum your child successfully takes your attention away from something else and puts it back on herself. Although your attention in such cases is negative, it may be experienced as rewarding for a child. In fact, children can often stop a temper tantrum quickly if it doesn't receive any attention, positive or negative. Additionally, over time temper tantrums will be less likely to occur if they are not given attention. Just ensure that your child is safe and make sure that she doesn't engage in any behaviors that could hurt herself or others.

More important than not reinforcing bad behavior is to offer positive reinforcements for good behavior. Positive reinforcement is effective because not only will it increase the good behavior, it will increase your child's self-worth and her sense of connection to you. If your child feels that you value her, she will be more likely to feel she can share her thoughts and feelings with you. The more she can share with you, the stronger your relationship will be. The strength of your relationship with your child is the single most powerful factor in preventing bad behavior.
The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

More About this Book

The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

As a parent, you already know that your child has many gifts. What you may not know is that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) related symptoms—the very qualities that lead him or her...

Continue Learning about ADHD

Helpful Resources for Childhood ADHD
Helpful Resources for Childhood ADHD
Getting Support Having trouble managing your child's ADHD on your own? Successfully parenting a child with ADHD doesn't have to be a solo journey. In ...
Read More
Why do adults with ADD find it hard to let go?
Lara Honos-Webb, PhDLara Honos-Webb, PhD
As an attention deficit disorder (ADD) adult, you have the ability to almost channel what other pe...
More Answers
What is limbic attention deficit disorder (ADD)?
Amen Clinics, Inc.Amen Clinics, Inc.
In limbic attention deficit disorder (ADD), the prefrontal cortex is underactive during concentratio...
More Answers
The Attention Test to Determine Your Adult ADHD Risk
The Attention Test to Determine Your Adult ADHD Risk

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.