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How to Discipline a Child Who Will Not Pay Attention (ADD); Ritalin or Adderall Anyone?
Keep Your Eye On The Prize
Cool Seeger Rendition
Take a Good Look at Yourself
Wow is it easy to prescribe a drug to increase attention spans. It seems it is considered normal these days. Well to heck with that! Our 8 year old has ADD, like every other 8 year old on the planet. So we should just give him a drug so he gets better grades? It is just not going to happen. Note the title. We use “how to discipline” and clearly it might better read as “How to Create Discipline” in a child with ADD. We hope that you find some ideas here helpful. But I am afraid that it takes as much discipline from you as it does from the child. Or let me be harsh. If you cannot set aside an hour a day to be with your child exclusively probably better for you not to have one. And yes that hour will work for 3 children also.
We think morning and night in our synchronized world. But in a child’s world that is before and after school. And there is light and dark outside is another. However when it is recess time the children line up and are still so they can go outside to play. They generally have no reason to care what time of day it is. Is recess a carrot on a stick?
Have you ever watched youngsters cross as crosswalk on their way home from school? Slower than molasses. But if they know they have sweets and gaming as soon as they get home you have never seen a faster kid.
So, so far we have recess and treats and activities that are loved and their mind is focused. What other kind of “rewards” do children get for concentrating and getting it done? Well let me suggest that doing well with homework will have it’s reward if that is the lifestyle and mindset of the household. Joyful heartfelt celebrations for getting it done. Priority of good grades with attendant praise and adulations. Doing stuff requiring concentration like checkers and jigsaw puzzles. And you can note here that the immediate gratification is doing it with you. We sometimes forget that a child really does love his parent’s attention. We think they would rather do what they do and that makes them happy. Well let me tell you straight up. If you act relieved and happy when you are allowing your child to be baby sat by electronics you are teaching them to do electronics for the reward of you relaxing and happy.
Cool Seeger Rendition
Children are "Blank Slates"
In our household we are half Asian. Mother is all Asian. If you are aware which you probably should be, Asians are stereotypically great students. There is a reason for that and it boils down to a priority. Doing well is not an option it is a duty to family. A pride deal somewhat. Education for educations sake is the whole idea. So now my little can concentrate for a full hour (a major rarity that it is allowed) on a game. But he cannot concentrate on math for 10 minutes? Not going to happen in our home. It is so fast and easy to see that the attention disorder is a bit like a choice depending on what is to be done. And that can be remedied by the home. The reward must be a clear choice of the value of what is being done.
Our young son cannot concentrate on a 5 minute chore. He is to sweep the sidewalk leading to our door. Believe me it is an easy chore. But in that 5 minutes he soars like an eagle with toward other thoughts. My wife and I love to swap stories of the “human machines” that do check out clerking stuff. “Please check your brain at the door and get to work”. Like little automatons they do not think they just do. Interupt this process with a question of import and they basically freak out though they are “trained” not to let you notice. Fat chance on that one. My favorite is the customer service representative who responds that the computer “says” they cannot do something, even like scratching their ear. That is both funny and scary at the same time.
Strange isn’t it. Concentration has been taking out of the loop. Some folks are mistaken in that they believe that robotically doing something for hours is concentration. No, that is a brain that has checked out from thinking. Concentration outside of prayer and meditation requires that our mental faculties respond to outside stimuli. Learning new math concepts and new vocabulary requires real concentration just like an electronic game. If they did their gaming as an automaton they would lose and lose real quickly. So why let them “check out” when it is homework time?
Children are My Biggest Blessing
Help The Little Seed Grow
Let Us Build A Brighter Future
Sports, especially team sports are basically a conundrum. A real tough one to handle properly. I just love to watch preteen players in soccer. If the ball is in the other area for a time their minds just take off into never never land. Somehow it happens in seconds. But I do not think that is a disorder. It is just imagination kicking in. And that is cool.
So some things to think about:
Alone, imagination time. I suggest a half hour after school, or more maybe. That is a time when nothing need be done. But no electronics or interruptions and no observance by the parent. Let them let their brains go where they will. It is good for creativity and it is a good way for a child to relax and then they are more ready for stuff “they have to do”.
The exercise requirement may be best done together. A good fast walk around the block might be just the ticket. And again we can let their brains go where they will but together with you. Q and A time. We do ours on the walk home from school. Driving is easier and faster but it creates a notion of hurrying.
Sleep needs nothing more to be said. 9 to 11 hours is just plain required.
Discipline by example. They days of the “do as I say not what I do” are over. It does not work and probably never did. Children of alcoholics anyone?
Requirement. Just the act of day in and day out insistence on concentration actually can make a habit in a child, certainly 6 months of it. We have illustrated above that it really is a lifestyle choice for a child.
Encouragement and building up self esteem. This is so critical. Remember we are to say the action is wrong but the person is good. Screw ups while trying should never be responded to with harshness. There is no option of that. If a child does not believe they can, well then they can’t. If you yell at your child for not paying attention perhaps it is you with the problem.
The test is easy. If your child cannot concentrate on school work but can on TV and Gaming That is not a disorder. If your child cannot concentrate on a fun for them activity go see a doctor.
Please remember to fit these thoughts into your life. Adapt and adopt what works for you and your child as a partnership. No excuses if you are too busy. But if you are really too busy do not hire a babysitter. Hire a children’s tutor/life coach. I am sure you get what I mean.