Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is your Child with ADHD Stubborn? If So, Why is he Stubborn and What Can You Do You Can Do to Help him to Comply to your Requests?

I am sure that none of you have a child with ADHD who is stubborn, right? Now seriously, in my experience, most of us who have a child with ADHD have experienced them being stubborn at one time or another. What is a possible reason that the child with ADHD might behave in a stubborn way? Arguably, one reason that he might be stubborn is that he feels a sense of a loss of control, because so many decisions are being made for him.

Here are some examples of comments and questions that you might have said to children with ADHD and received a negative response:

Why don’t you do your homework when you return from school, so that you are finished with it?

You have to go to sleep in a few minutes, so turn off the video game now.

We have to leave for school in five minutes. Finish eating your breakfast, so that we can go to the bus.

We need to leave for the doctor in a few minutes. Get dressed.

I have tried many approaches in terms of somehow getting children with ADHD to comply with requests from both teachers and parents that they refuse to do. One way to manage these children’s stubbornness is to help them to regain some control over the situation. If you offer them two choices, arguably in most cases, they choose one. By giving them choices, they are the one who takes charge of their life, at least for that moment.

Let us see how we can modify the previous questions, so that children with ADHD will feel some sense of control over their lives.

Why don’t you do your homework when you return from school, so that you are finished with it?

Do you want to do your homework when you return from school or after you check your email for fifteen minutes?

You have to go to sleep in a few minutes, so turn off the video game now.

Since you have to go to sleep in a few minutes, would you rather turn off your video game now or in ten minutes?

We have to leave for school in five minutes. Finish eating your breakfast, so that we can go to the bus.

Since we have to leave for school in five minutes, would you like to finish your breakfast now or would you rather save the rest for a snack when you come home?


We need to leave for the doctor in a few minutes. Get dressed.

Since we have to leave for the doctor in a few minutes, would you like any help getting dressed or would you rather get dressed yourself? (Depending on the child with ADHD’s age, of course).

Let me know if you have tried this method, and whether or not it worked or if it did not work.

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