Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Should you Negotiate with your Child who has ADHD?
Let me give you an example:
You are walking your dog with your child with ADHD. As you are walking, you stop from time to time to chat with your neighbors. As you are conversing, your child swings from a branch on your next door neighbor’s property. You are ready to begin walking home, and you say to your child “Okay, let’s go. We need to get home.” He says, “Can I swing a little more?” You say “Yes” but then you also say, “We really have to leave in a minute.” The next time you tell your child that both of you have to leave, he refuses.
You should never negotiate with your child with ADHD because you will end up battling with a child who is trying to manipulate you. You cannot get your child to move off of that branch. What could you have done?
You will not get the results that you want from your child with ADHD unless you give them a choice. What you could have said, depending on how close you were to your home, the age of your child and his related independence was to say, “You can either come with me right now or come back by yourself in five minutes.” (This strategy depends, however, upon whether your child has a watch with an alarm that can be set or if he can tell time.)
You could also have said “We can leave now or in five minutes.” Have the child make a choice as to when he wants to leave within your parameters. If he says five minutes, then time him and in five minutes say, “Okay, the five minutes is up. Let’s go.”
This strategy typically works. The most important thing is to give your child a choice according to your own parameters of when you need something done. Please let me know if you tried this technique, if it worked and the degree to which it worked.