some info on discipline from a psychiatrist


Well-Known Member
Spend unstructured time together Schedule 15 minutes each day with your child, to do whatever he wants to. Playing together helps repair the parent-child bond and lays the groundwork for positive reinforcement in the future.
Praise good behavior immediately and often Positive reinforcement is the best behavioral tool, and especially powerful when it comes from a parent. Look for opportunities throughout the day to praise your child. Keep praise immediate and enthusiastic, and specify the exact behavior you're commending.
Reinforce praise with tokens This works especially well with young children. Tokens can be anything tangible and easily recorded -- stars on a chart, coins in a jar -- and should be awarded promptly for good behavior. Once a certain number of tokens are amassed, the child earns a predetermined reward, such as a video game, a sleepover at a friend's house, or a trip to the movies.
Don't ask, tell Don't start your requests with "Would you mind?", or finish them with "O.K.?" Instead, make directives clear and succinct: "I notice your coat is on the floor. I'd like you to pick it up."
Insist that your child make eye contact with you when you speak to him or her That way, you prevent your kid from ignoring you, while reinforcing what you're trying to communicate. "This can be done with humor," says child psychologist Douglas Riley. "I use the phrase, 'Give me your eyeballs.'"
Let your children know (politely) that they're not your equals"I urge parents to make it clear that they own everything in their home," says Riley. "Kids are often outraged to discover this. But they need to know that you're in charge, and that access to all the nice things in life, like the phone, TV, and computer, has to be earned by showing positive behavior and a good attitude."
Set up and explain consequences for misbehavior ahead of time These consequences should involve taking away privileges, such as access to the TV, playtime with friends, or another favorite activity. Particularly bad conduct, such as hitting or other physical violence, should result in an extended time-out (30 minutes for children over 8, an hour for adolescents), in an isolated room, where the child is instructed to think about his or her behavior.
Offer Praise – and Rewards Praise good behavior immediately and often. While it’s easy to notice and react immediately to negative behavior, parents of ADHD children should remember to respond just as quickly to good behavior. Positive reinforcement is the best behavioral tool, and it’s especially important to children with attention deficit when it comes from a parent.
Promptly award good behavior. Teachers can reward good behavior by praising the ADHD child in front of his peers or giving him a special privilege. You can use tokens, such as stars on a chart or coins as rewards too. Once a certain number of tokens are earned, your child earns a predetermined reward like a trip to the movies.
Be Clear Don't ask, tell. Don't start your requests with "Would you mind?", or finish them with "O.K.?" Instead, give clear and succinct instructions like “Please pick up your coat from the floor."
If your child doesn’t respond to your first request, try saying it another way. Kids respond differently to requests so saying things in different ways may lead to a better response from your ADHD child than simply repeating the request again and again.
Insist on eye contact. When you look at each other eye-to-eye your child can't ignore you and will listen to what you’re saying. Ask your ADHD to child look at you when you explain why a certain behavior is bad or when you are requesting a change in behavior. like waiting patiently or cleaning up a mess.
Be Present, Be Tough Spend unstructured time together. Just 15 minutes a day with your child lays the groundwork for a strong bond with your ADHD child. The closer you are, the easier positive reinforcement of good behaviors will be in the future.
Let your children know who's boss. Explain to your ADHD child that playing video games and watching TV are privileges you’ve given her, not her right. Child psychologist Douglas Riley says, "Kids need to know that access to the phone, TV, and computer have to be earned by showing positive behavior and a good attitude."
Use Consequences Explain consequences for misbehavior ahead of time. Having a clear plan of action before an incident occurs will help guide you when bad behavior happens and won’t surprise your child. These consequences should involve taking away privileges. Really bad behavior like hitting should result in an extended time-out (30 minutes for children over 8, an hour for adolescents).
Stick to the consequences, no matter what. First, discuss the behavior and make sure your child understands why it was wrong.
"A parent has to be 100 percent consistent in addressing bad behavior. Otherwise, the behavior may persist or even get worse," says psychiatrist Larry Silver, M.D.
At times, all kids resist the rules and demands placed upon them. Children who have attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) tend to resist even more than others. To rein in rebellious, impulsive ADHD behavior without creating a power struggle, parents must be infinitely patient and persistent - and creative in responding to rapidly changing discipline situations. "If your child hits a sibling five times and gets punished for it only three times, he knows he's got a 40 percent chance of getting away with that behavior," says psychiatrist Larry Silver, M.D. "A parent has to be 100 percent consistent in addressing bad behavior. Otherwise, the behavior may persist or even get worse."
Is discipline a daily challenge for you and your ADHD child? Do house rules go ignored? Do warnings make no difference? Follow this expert advice for better behavior from ADD kids...
Here are six common discipline problems faced by parents of children with ADHD:

1. My child absolutely refuses to do as he is told Sometimes parents and kids get into a pattern in which daily tasks and responsibilities (doing homework, getting ready for bed, and so on) turn into battles. In most cases, the child eventually complies, but the conflict leaves everyone upset and emotionally burnt-out.
The best long-term solution for avoiding power struggles is to set up routines to help children get through daily tasks associated with schoolwork and family life. For example, parents must establish and enforce - calmly but firmly - regular study times for each child. It may take weeks until the child accepts these routines and follows them consistently.
2. My child doesn't care about "consequences" Whether it's withholding television privileges, refusing to let your child attend a party, or something else, consequences work best when they are imposed as soon as possible following an infraction of the rules. If you delay the imposition of the consequences, you're blunting their emotional impact on your child.
Consequences should have realistic time limits: long enough to teach a lesson but short enough to give the child a chance to move on to more positive things. The severity of consequences should fit the crime. Overly harsh consequences will encourage your child to resent the rules and your authority - and generate more anger and rebelliousness.
3. I can't believe anything my child tells me All children lie sometimes. The lying may be mild ("No, I didn't take my sister's CD") or it could be a cover-up for chronic problems ("No, the teacher didn't give us any homework today"). Lying is especially worrisome when it involves issues of health and safety ("Empty beer cans in the basement? What empty beer cans?").
For children with ADHD, lying is often a coping mechanism, albeit a counterproductive one. A lie may be a way to cover up forgetfulness, to avoid criticism or punishment, or to avoid dealing with feelings of guilt and shame over repeated failures.
The first step in dealing with chronic dishonesty is to find the reasons that underlie it. If your child lies to avoid consequences for irresponsible behavior, for example, you must monitor those behaviors more closely and discipline any act of deception. If he lies in order to cover up failure and shame, encourage your child to be honest - and provide appropriate help so that your child can overcome whatever he's struggling with.
4. My child doesn't take me seriously There could be any number of reasons why a child fails to respect you or your rules. Are the rules clear? Important rules need to be put in writing. Does the child refuse to accept the rules because she considers them unfair? In that case, the child's objections, and the parent's reasons, warrant further discussion.
Ultimately, if you want your rules to be followed, you must enforce them consistently. That means not "forgetting" about them or occasionally suspending them because you feel guilty or because your child (or spouse) pressures you to do so. If you make empty threats, you're sacrificing your credibility and undermining your authority as a parent.
5. My child overreacts to just about everything Heightened emotionality is a characteristic of ADHD. For kids with the condition, failure doesn't just discourage - it devastates. Criticism doesn't just hurt - it cuts to the bone. While most children might protest a bit about being disciplined, kids with ADHD might react with intense indignation and anger. Disciplining an emotionally over-reactive child becomes risky when the child's reaction may trigger World War III.
Keep in mind that chronic overreaction to discipline - particularly when intense feelings of anger or frustration is involved - may not be the result of AD/HD. Is the child overreacting because she feels criticized? Unloved? Inadequate? Helpless? Overwhelmed? Are your expectations unrealistically high? In some cases chronic anger may indicate childhood depression or bipolar disorder.
6. My child won't listen to me Is there a parent anywhere who has never had the experience of trying to have a serious conversation with a son or daughter - only to be met with indifference ("who are you and why are you bothering me with this stuff right now?")? If the conversation involves a matter of discipline, you can be certain that your message isn't getting through.
If your child tunes you out on a regular basis, do a self-check. Have you become too negative or critical toward your child? Do you focus too much on problems and not enough on solutions? Has conversation turned into a series of lectures, instead of a give-and-take?No matter what your child's age, it can be helpful to involve him in the process of establishing the household rules and setting consequences for breaking them. A child who feels included in the making of family rules will be more likely to respect them.
Does your struggle with ADHD behavior look something like this?
You’ve told your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) to pick up his dirty clothes from the bedroom floor. Not a single sock has been deposited in the hamper. Did he not hear you — or did he ignore your discipline?
Annoyed, you shout and, worse, feel yourself getting angry and nearing a power struggle. Then come the threats -- no TV for a week, no friends visiting for a month, and whatever else you can think of in your fury. The incident costs everyone dearly: Your child feels angry and demoralized, and you feel like anything but a loving parent. And for what? A pile of clothes in need of a washing machine.
Later that evening, during a quiet moment at the kitchen table, you think back to what happened -- and what has been happening for months now. You wish you had used more effective communication and question whether you love your child any more, whether you’re a fit parent. Don’t worry: You do and you are.
You’re feeling the emotional turmoil and stinging regret every parent experiences when trying to love and discipline your child. Here are some strategies that will help you feel less like an ogre and more like a mom the next time your child needs some “enlightenment”:
Discuss why it’s wrong. Make sure your child understands how his action — or inaction — has hurt someone or goes against the grain of your expectation. Then ask him if he thinks it would be a good idea to apologize, suggesting that he would probably want the same courtesy extended to him if his feelings had been hurt.

Be reasonable when grounding. If your child or teen abuses a privilege, remove the privilege — briefly. Depriving a teen access to the cell phone for a month because she exceeded the plan’s calling minutes is overkill. She is your daughter after all, not a criminal. Withdrawing the privilege for a short time — and allowing your teen to earn it back by developing a credible game plan for not abusing the privilege next time — teaches the necessary lesson.
Say it a couple of ways. Different kids respond to direction in different ways. When giving your child a task—such as putting her games away—state it two ways. Say, “I’d like you to stop leaving your games all over your room. You paid good money for them, and you want to take care of them, right?” Then state the same request in a positive way: “Please put your games away.” Chances are, she will get the message.
Schedule pit stops. Racecar drivers periodically pull their cars into the pit — to change tires, add fuel, and talk over race strategy with the pit crew. Do the same with your child when things get tense and you feel the urge to yell. Tell her you want to have a pit stop — a private conversation in a quiet area of the home where nobody will interrupt — or, better yet, at her favorite coffee place. Scheduling pit stops cuts off an ugly exchange that you will regret later.
Figure out a better way. Turn discipline moments into learning opportunities. Remind your teen that we all make mistakes, then invite him to brainstorm better ways to deal with a similar temptation or stress in the future. Listen to his ideas and value his input. It shouldn’t just be your way or the highway.
Encourage a redo. When your child screws up, patiently reenact the situation — doing it the right way. If your child spills a glass of soda while clowning around at the table, have her wipe up the mess and pour another glass. Then ask her to place the glass in a better location on the table and be on her best behavior.
Take a moment. Count to 10 before opening your mouth; it will short-circuit a great deal of verbal nastiness.
Strengthen the bond. The best discipline combines a firm expectation of how to behave or act, along with basic respect for the worth and dignity of your child. Bedtime tuck-ins, listening to her concerns, empathizing with her feelings, and defending your child when necessary all show that you are more than a drill sergeant. You’re a loving parent.
Reaffirm your love. Always remind your child, no matter what she’s done, how much you love her. Love and leadership are the twin functions of effective parenting — so make it clear that disciplining her doesn’t diminish your affection for her.
How to Give Good Instructions to Children with ADHD. Expert tips for helping your child. Is it expecting too much for my child to do as I say? If you've ever caught yourself muttering something like this, consider the skills involved in following directions. Listening, understanding, staying focused on a task - these don't come easily to kids with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). Your child may be listening to your instructions, only to be distracted by a barking dog outside. If what you're telling her to do involves several steps, she may remember only one or two. The specific way in which you give instructions to a child with ADHD is a key factor in determining whether she'll comply. Keep in mind that, even at an age when most youngsters can work independently, children who have ADHD may still need your guidance and support.
Solutions At Home
  • Don't compete with music, video games, or the television when giving instructions. Turn these off, if necessary, to get your child's full attention.

  • Tell your child what to do - and then stop talking. Many parents continue to explain and elaborate, but this only distracts the child instead of allowing him to comply.

  • Break complex tasks into small, simple steps. Give your child a single instruction, and tell her to complete it and report back for another. If the task is an unfamiliar one, demonstrate how it's done.
When your child becomes adept at following a one-step command ("Turn off the TV"), try her with two steps ("Turn off the TV and put on your pajamas"). Praise her accomplishment, and slowly make your commands more complex.

  • Create a checklist of daily routines. Kids with AD/HD may need reminders to attend to routine tasks. A checklist will help your child operate independently.
For children who are not yet fluent readers, snap a photo - or draw a picture - to illustrate each step of a regular routine. Getting ready for school, for example, would include pictures of getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, and packing a schoolbag. Post the pictures in the proper order to serve as a visual guide.

  • Make a game out of chores. Play your child's favorite song, for instance, and challenge her to put away her toys before it ends.

  • Inspect your child's work. Offer praise when he follows directions or tries his best. Reward deserving efforts with a favorite activity or snack.

  • If your child gets sidetracked, gently redirect him. If you asked him to feed the dog but then found him outside playing basketball, say: "Remember, you're supposed to be feeding Beethoven right now. I'll hold on to the basketball, so you'll know where to find it when you're done."
Let your children know who's boss. Explain to your ADHD child that playing video games and watching TV are privileges you’ve given her, not her right. Child psychologist Douglas Riley says, "Kids need to know that access to the phone, TV, and computer have to be earned by showing positive behavior and a good attitude."

Explain consequences for misbehavior ahead of time. Having a clear plan of action before an incident occurs


Roll With It
Good list, DJ.

I LOVE the one about letting the child know that YOU own everything. I have had MORE **** from more people over that and it blows my mind. SOOOOOOOOOOOO many people told me I 'couldn't' take x or y away from Wiz because it was "his". Well, gee, when he became an adult it was, but under the age of 18 a person cannot legally enter a contract so they cannot legally own anything. I never pushed it with an older child because it wasn't needed, but SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many people told me that a 3,5,7,12 yo couldn't have something removed because the kid "owned" it or bought it wth their own money. Drove me nuts for years but my kids mostly knew/know that I think other people are stone cold Fruit Loops on that issue so they don't fuss much. I don't NEED it with J and T, but when I do it is the way it is!

It is just nice to see a doctor put it in writing. I HATE hearing parents of pcs, ESP easy child elem age kids, say they "can't" take something away because it belongs to the child. Drives me nuts and I usually don't talk much to them again. It is different with difficult children, totally different, but most kids are just NOT difficult children.

Dr. Riley Rocks!


New Member
This actually makes me feel good. I do many of these things but I love using the term "pit stop" for those side bar conversations that Q and I do because any time we can connect our methods to racing, it always works better! thanks for sharing it. I passed it on to my sister because the adhd explanations were good.


Well-Known Member
I used Doug Riley's methods quite a lot with Cory. He had some of the best method's around. I liked his book much better than The Explosive Child. In fact, Doug Riley is a member here. Or he was. I dont know if he still visits or not.