How does parent training help kids with ADHD?

Sheila Dunnells
Addiction Medicine
To answer this question, I will tell of an experience I had recently. I was sitting behind a child at a church service. I have been observing this little girl for at least three years. She tortures her older brother and sister by poking them, crawling under the pew and taking their shoes, creeping back and forth on the pew behind the other parishioners, and talking. She is constantly in motion.

On this particular Sunday she was really wound up. She was grinning at everyone; taking her toys in and out of her backpack. Then, she was drawing on some paper. In general, she was distracting everyone near her. Mom never observed her behavior, nor did she correct it. She said her prayers totally undistracted by the child.

Several times her brother asked her to be quiet but she ignored him. Finally, out of frustration, he said to her very quietly, "Shut up." At this point, mom's arm came up and she gave the boy a slap on the shoulder.

He looked at his mother with disgust.

Obviously, mom's passive parenting style worked with the older two children. However, it would appear that a shift would be necessary for the little girl to develop some self-control.

I asked my husband how old he thought the little girl was. His best guess was third grade.
Children with ADHD need consistency, clear rules and expectations, and some discipline when they are not followed. Children who have uncontrolled ADHD become the class pariah and the attention they receive becomes increasingly negative. Ignoring their behavior is not the answer.
Parent training for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) teaches strategies and techniques for parents who want to modify their children's behaviors. These behavioral modification strategies are well researched and taught in an intensive education format, sometimes one on one.

The National Resource Center on ADHD reports that children with ADHD often do best when given specific limits and boundaries. Parent training helps parents identify boundaries that need to be set with their children. For instance, parents are encouraged to select specific problem behaviors in their children and to find ways to encourage their children to change these behaviors. This can be done if parents implement a rigorous daily system using rewards and consequences. Parents may choose to use time-outs, daily behavior charts, and the giving and withdrawing privileges.

Over time, when parents are consistent with behavior modification, children respond well to behavior modification, and their conduct usually improves.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Every child needs a structured, safe, supportive environment. Kids with ADHD need it even more! Behavioral parent training helps you provide the home environment and develop the parenting skills that are truly tailored for a child with ADHD. It’s hard work, both for you and for your child, but in the end he’ll develop skills that help him do better at school, with his friends, and at home. He may even get along better with his brother or sister. Imagine that!

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