ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder - Part 3

This excerpt is from Dr. C & Elwood’s Introduction to ADHD Volume 3 - ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Counseling Elwood’s parents about O.D.D. - Part 3

Dr. C: At some point, we parents also have to accept our limitations. We can’t make our children act good or be good students. All we can do is provide a good environment, encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior. Again, I’m back to that point I mentioned earlier, our children have to try.

Mrs. Splinter: What do you need to do to provide a good environment for children with ADHD?

Dr. C: We’ve already talked about some of the ideas like frequent immediate consequences instead of explanations. Don’t take the problems personally. Reduce the amount of time and energy you put into problems. And spend good one on one time with them on a regular basis. Reward problems such as token economies also can help.

Mrs. Splinter: What is a token economy?

Dr. C: Basically a reward system where children are paid on a regular and frequent basis for doing their chores. The children are then able to take the tokens or money and purchase things they want.

Mr. Splinter: I don’t think you should pay kids to do regular chores

Dr. C: These types of systems frequently work and they reduce family stress. I personally refuse to pay my children to treat me nicely. But I don’t have a problem paying them to do the chores. The pay, of course, is in place of the allowance I used to give them for doing nothing. By using the money this way, the work is completed and my life is easier. Just like with the medicine, however, it’s up to you parents to decide what’s best for your family.

Mrs. Splinter: I know that I’m really tired of fighting with the kids to do their chores. I usually end up doing them myself. So, I’m ready to try something…different.

Dr. C: I suggest that you two go home and discuss this in private. And next time we get together, we can work on a plan that’s consistent with your desire. Another thing that helps to make an ADHD-friendly environment is identifying problems which happen over and over again, and developing a new plan to respond to the problem next time it happens. Or even a plan to help avoid it from occurring at all.

Mrs. Splinter: Can you give me an example?

Dr. C: My boys used to fight with each other every time we got in the car. So I started having one of them sit in the front seat and one of them sit in the back seat. And this greatly reduced the frequency of fighting.

Mrs. Splinter: Wouldn’t it be better to teach them to get along, better?

Dr. C: I believe that there are two types of solutions; ideal ones and practical ones. The ideal solution is to teach them to get along. The practical solution is to separate them. Practical solutions frequently involve changing structures. And they work. Ideal solutions are much more difficult to achieve. Another example is if you have problems every night at bed time, come up with a different plan for dealing with those bed time problems. If the plan works, good. If the plan doesn’t work, figure out anther strategy. Eventually, you’ll solve the problem.

Mr. Splinter: Now you’re telling us that we need to try, just like the kids need to try.

Dr. C: Right. Everybody needs to try. Finally, I recommend to you that you listen to the words in the Splinter family songs, since those words provide suggestions on how to create an ADHD friendly environment.
(Alarm sound) Oops, time to stop.
Mr. Splinter: Bye, Dr. C.

Mrs. Splinter: Thank you for all your help. We really appreciate it.
Dr. C: You are welcome.

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