Do you know this child? He runs, jumps and shouts wherever he goes? You tell him what to do-- but both ears must be clogged with wax. When you finally get him to hear you, he behaves as though it’s opposite day. When he’s around his peers, you hear continuous complaints about him hitting, teasing or constantly annoying them. What is it with this child?
This type of reckless, overactive and aggressive behavior is often seen in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These children have problems paying attention, following instructions and acting out of impulse without thinking.
One of the greatest misunderstandings parents, teachers and care givers make with children exhibiting these characteristics is mistaking the child’s actions for intended misbehavior.
Children with ADHD don’t intend to be overly active, inattentive, impulsive and annoying. This behavior has to do with their chemistry makeup. Children with ADHD have a neurological disorder that leads to problems with self-control. The following are tips on how you can manage your child with ADHD more effectively:
1. Do not label your child as bad, even though neighbors, friends and family may consider his behaviors as bad. Learn more about the behaviors children with ADHD exhibit. Use this information to better understand your child as a unique rather than bad person.
2. Look for your child’s positive behaviors. Did he remember to make salat without your reminding him? Did he play nicely with his younger brother this afternoon? Did he say something kind to you today? It may seem as if your child is “always” in trouble, but there are times when his behavior is agreeable. Search for moments when he is compliant. Give him a hug, kiss or pat on the back. Tell him how pleased you are with him. This will encourage future positive behavior that you desire.
3. Make sure he understands your instructions. Make certain you have his attention when you direct him. Is he looking at you? Are his hands free? Is he still when you instruct him? Also be sure you speak slowly, clearly and with words he understands. Stand in front of him when speaking, if possible. “I want your controller down and you looking at me.”
4. Develop a loving relationship with your child that does not involve hitting. Children with ADHD are resistant to spankings-- they often become rebellious. Because their unintentional behavior so often leads to frequent corrections, extreme and excessive discipline methods can lead to adverse feelings between mother and child. It can also lead to abuse. Children who feel loved, understood and respected are more likely to have the desire to obey and exert the extra effort to obey.
More information on disciplining children with ADHD can be found in Grandma Jeddah’s eBook Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child-- And Keep Your Peace of Mind While at It. To order her e-book or receive her free newsletter, please go to http://www.grandmajeddah.com/