What is parent training for ADHD?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Parent to Parent: Family Training on ADHD helps people understand more about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The educational course is helpful for a variety of people, including those living with ADHD and those caring for someone with ADHD. Single individuals, parents, and others can learn from those who are knowledgeable about the condition, including researchers and clinical professionals. The classes, which are offered nationally, are based on a structured program that covers a variety of topics. ADHD treatments, behaviors, parenting, education, and other subjects are included in the course, which can be completed in about 14 hours, usually in multiple sessions. For more information, contact Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Parent training for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) teaches parents behavioral techniques to use with their children with ADHD. Usually, parents learn these behavioral techniques by working with a specialist who is trained in behavior modification.

During parent training sessions, participants are first given a thorough overview of the experiences of children with ADHD. They learn about the causes of ADHD, how the disorder changes and progresses through the lifespan, and the types of treatments offered. Then, parents are taught behavioral modification strategies, including:

  • How to reward good behaviors
  • How to keep track of daily progress at home and at school
  • How to take away privileges when children are not acting appropriately
  • How to use time-outs appropriately

While some parents may only need a few sessions of parent training, others require multiple sessions before they start to see changes and improvements in their children's behavior.

Parent training is a series of sessions that teach you the best ways to structure your home life to help your child with ADHD. In a lot of ways, the sessions reiterate what’s common sense, but it’s not easy to just pick up a book and start doing it, not to mention doing it consistently. You’ll learn how to establish house rules and structures, practice praising appropriate behaviors more often than you criticize inappropriate ones, plan ways to be with your child in public places, and use daily charts and point/token systems to reward good behaviors. Learning these simple approaches at home can play a huge role in helping your child learn how to manage his ADHD. Even if you master these techniques when your child is young, it may be prudent to pick them up again once your child becomes a teen.


Bob Livingstone
Marriage & Family Therapy Specialist

Question: How can I parent fearlessly?

  1. Do not watch the cable television ongoing presentation of missing children. Their 24/7 coverage of this issue makes it seem like strangers kidnapping children is wide spread when in reality; there is a better chance of your child being hit by lightning.
  2. Allow your children do to activities by themselves-trick or treating without parent supervision or letting them go by themselves to the local store.
  3. Encourage them to play outside with their friends as opposed to staying indoors and dumbing down with video games, texting and television.
  4. Connect with other parents who want to parent without fear and plan activities that enhance child independence rather than thwart it.

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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.