Generally speaking, kids with ADHD have trouble getting their chores done and their homework turned in. They find it difficult to do any number of things because of the way that their brains are wired. And it can be hard for us, as parents, to understand that our kids aren’t messing up on purpose.
But that is exactly why piling on punishments doesn’t work to change behaviors. When a kid is already struggling to get his brain to respond the way he knows he should, constant disapproval just adds insult to injury.
So, when your kids’ behavior is less than desirable, it can be really helpful to ask yourself this question: Is It Naughty or Neurological?
Is it Naughty? Is he really avoiding work just to be rude, difficult, ungrateful or disrespectful? Is he really ignoring your request to do a “simple” task?
Is it Neurological? Is it possible that your child might not be handling stress very well, so it comes out sounding rude, difficult, ungrateful or disrespectful? Is it possible that he forgot, or never really heard the request in the first place, or the task actually isn’t so simple for him?
We often hear from parents, “I just don’t know what to do anymore. There’s nothing left for me to take away, and my son/daughter doesn’t seem to care at all!” When you’ve tried consistent, appropriate consequences or punishments, and they don’t really change behaviors, that’s a strong indicator that what’s happening has a neurological basis.
Of course, there is always the chance that there is a little of both going on – both naughty and neurological. Still, we have found that when you suspect that there is a neurological part to the problem (and that’s all you need at first – to Assume Best Intention), start there and treat it accordingly. The “naughty” usually disappears when your child feels supported and understood.