One of the hardest parts of parenting a son with ADHD is wondering where the ADHD tendencies stop and the usual hi-jinks of just being a kid start. Let’s face it, even if a kid’s brain wiring is perfectly average, with all the pros and cons that entails, he’s going to test your limits. If he has the unique brain wiring that labels him with ADHD, however, he’s going to test your limits with a kind of ruthless abandon and maybe not even be aware he’s doing it.
Disciplining an ADHD Child
I know ADHD is not an excuse for behavior, but when it comes to the effectiveness of discipline, it sometimes seems to be. On the face of it, I know that every kid is different and some methods of discipline work with some kids and not others; but finding what works for you can be a challenge when you add in the impulsivity and lack of self awareness common in an ADHD kid. In other words, when your kid isn’t due to get his X-Box back for 18 months, it might be time as a parent to pause and take note about what’s working and what’s not. For me, it helped to practice patience and be willing to think outside the box.
The best advice I ever received about discipline and my ADHD child was this: you may have to bug your kid with ADHD three times as hard to do something only to get half the results. While living by this rule will undoubtedly cement my own label as a nag, the truth of it makes the effort of discipline worth while. While I might feel like I’m beating my head against the wall, I’m not. Keeping boundaries and sticking to my guns may take longer to get results with my son, but the effort does eventually pay off.