Routines and Discipline

Our kids are different when it comes to discipline. Time outs are seldom effective, spanking only makes them angry and many consequences simply don’t work. This section in Healing Our ADHD Children uses a building block approach to discipline, similar to the Food Sensitivities Section. Everything can’t be accomplished at once, so a step by step eight week program is an effective way to implement some new discipline ideas. 

Week 1: Let’s start by concentrating on our children’s bedtime routines. If we can get this part of the day working smoothly, we will not only have a more rested child, but we might be more rested as well! What if your child is always hungry right before he goes to bed? Maybe he is lying in bed and you are ready to walk out the door and he requests a drink of water because he is thirsty. There are many ways our children can hijack a great bedtime routine and frustrate even the most patient parent! Read this section to be ready for those circumstances and have some tricks of your own to create a calm, successful bedtime routine.

Week 2: This week we tackle the morning routine. As our children wake up more rested after the first week, getting them dressed and ready for school can flow smoothly with the help of some unique ideas in this section. You may find creating an morning routine chart for your ADHD child helpful. That doesn’t mean they will necessarily be happy – my kids are almost always grumpy in the morning! However, once the stress of rushing around is removed and the constant nagging about being late is gone, the whole morning becomes much easier to navigate. I no longer feel like a tornado hit the house a mere 45 minutes after I have woken up every morning! Try out ideas in this section to calm down your tired, grumpy, ADHD child and get him out the door on time each morning!

Week 3: The dreaded after school routines will be reviewed this week, with some great ideas on how to feed your child a snack, get homework done and still have time for outdoor play. We will also discuss screen time, which includes anything that has a screen such as TV, computer games, phone time, etc.

Week 4: We now move on to rules of the house. Every house should have these posted in a prominent place and ready to be enforced when necessary. Rules should be a family affair and everyone gets to agree on them. Small children can’t handle more than a few rules, where older children can understand and agree with at least 6 rules. Anything that is not a rule should be ignored. The final goal is to cut out the nagging. It is either a rule with a consequence or it is not mentioned. If a behavior is important enough to nag about, then it should be a rule with a consequence!

Week 5: This week we will look at effective consequences. These will likely be different than the consequences doled out for a kid without a “diagnosis”. Does your child react more favorably to a reward or to a consequence? Should we dole out consequences when we are really mad or wait until we have regained our composure? Lots of good information this week on how to make consequences effective.

Week 6: Your children should feel like a participating part of the family with reasonable chores and allowance. Our children have very little idea what our chores are as parents. They believe that they are the only ones with chores and that is unfair. My children actually believed that I had nothing to do except to wait on them and get them anything they desired. Although I didn’t wait on them, they still believed that was my chore and that I wasn’t doing a good job of it!

I will give you an idea of which chores are appropriate for which age groups. Would you believe that doing their own laundry is something they can handle between the ages of 6 and 10? Included this week are some great ways to have your children helping out around the house with minimum complaining.

Week 7: This week we will focus on our kids intense need for control, praise and attention and how to handle this in a loving and understanding way. We want our children to make mistakes and learn from them at a young age even though it is hard to watch them fall and pick themselves back up again. And in the end, our kids get a lot less praise than most children, so a pat on the back is always a good thing!

Week 8: I wrap up this section with a smathering of tips and tricks for various occasions and situations that you might run up against. These include better car behavior, a fool proof way to clean up any disrespectful language and handling birthdays to our advantage.

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