Behavior Rewards to Motivate Your Child with ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is defined as a behavioral disorder in teens and children that can continue till adulthood. According to the psychologist, ADHD is not simply a demonstration of attention disorder or excess activity and poor impulse control, though these are the most pre-dominant and conspicuous symptoms. Underneath all these sings lies a more intense mental and behavioral disorder that disorients a person’s capacity of self-regulation. So ADHD upsets a person’s ability to manage behavioral acts of their own, and regulate, decision making power of mind. This is one of the reason why Kids with ADHD symptom are at their worst when they are given tasks that needs to be done with immediate results and enforcement.
Underlying every individual’s capacity for self-regulating their behavior is the act of self-motivation which acts as the intrinsic drive behind achieving our goals, even if we face monotonous or adverse situation. If we can develop a behavior that is goal oriented and futuristic we will be able to motivate ourselves mentally, which we often describe with terms like willpower, self-discipline, ambition, persistence, determination and drive. ADHD has the ability to disrupt this mental mechanism of the people, leaving the suffering ones “low on fuel” lacking a motivating behavior toward future rewards.
So for a kid suffering from symptoms of ADHD if you can arrange a task that provides motivation to him like video games, comic books, and even television can also be helpful as kids get easily associated with it. These activities can be motivation as they contain their own rewards. Give these kids a task where there is no external reinforcement or payoff, and their persistence falls apart. They can’t sustain attention, skip from one uncompleted activity to another, and get bored very quickly and easily.
Therefore, to help a child with ADHD complete work when there is little immediate reward or interest in the task, adults must establish artificial rewards to help sustain their motivation. That’s why token systems, chip programs, or other external rewards help kids with ADHD persist. Without these rewards, kids with ADHD cannot themselves create the intrinsic willpower they need to stick with the task.
Procedures of Behavior Management in your Child
The game plan of behavior management is not simple as it sounds. It can be segmented into three categories
- Identify the problem behaviors that should be changed
- Establish a set of rewards to be earned for good behavior
- Stick to the plan
Though according to most of the psychologists, the systems of behavior management systems should be set up in a school setting. Ideally, they are supported at home so that children receive the same messages in different situations.
Identify Target Behaviors disorders
The first step is to identify the behaviors you want to see and the behaviors you want to decrease or eliminate. Clearly defined target behaviors work best. Ideally, the behaviors should be concrete, measurable, and easy to identify.
Identifying Effective Rewards
Rewards need to be motivating to be effective. It is important to identify what the child actually wants, by asking or through observation. Often, a reward can take the form of an opportunity to do something desirable like making them stand at the head of a line or let make announcements over the loudspeaker, however, it can also be something concrete such as a toy or cookie. For older children, it can be helpful to implement a token system: like a child earns a sticker for each period of good behavior. When a certain number of stickers are earned the reward is implemented.
Though primitively results were also a part of behavior management programs, but in general, a reward/no reward program is preferable. If consequences are implemented, they must be carefully selected to be a disincentive to the child without creating more problems than they solve. For example, taking recess away from a hyperactive child can create serious problems; having a child stay after school may actually feel like a reward in some cases.
Implementing the plan
In order for a behavior modification plan to be successful, it must be consistently enforced. Rewards and consequences should be given as soon as possible after the target behavior has occurred. Negative behaviors must receive consequences immediately, as well (if consequences are a part of the plan). Frequent monitoring and feedback are also helpful, as is implementing the plan across settings such as school/work and home.
Reward Ideas for Motivating Kids
ADHD makes it harder for kids to do something tedious in return for a future payoff. But the right reward can help them persist and stick with a task that, absent any external motivation, they might otherwise abandon. Following are some ideas that can help your child push through dull assignments or chores:
- A Behavior Chart - A behavior chart promptly awards good behavior with tokens, such as stars on a chart or coins in a jar. Once a certain number of tokens is earned, your child collects a predetermined reward, like a trip to the movies.
- A Promising Fun Activity - In your child's behavior chart, promise a fun activity after chores and homework are completed; this can act as a light at the end of the tunnel to help kids push through. After school, allow your child to decompress for 30-45 minutes and then it's time to get down to work.
- A Reward time with Friends – Spending time with friends like a sleep over or a play date motivated your child a lot to do mundane daily tasks in which he would have never been interested.
- Positive Feedback - Well-timed encouragement from a loved one can give your child a boost of determination to live up to the vision of a successful, well-behaved child they see through your eyes. Compliments can help draw out more persistence than your child realized that he or she actually had.
The most important thing you can do for your daughter about her ADHD is to provide unconditional love. Ease out the difficulties in which you find your child is struggling with. Give lots of hugs, and find things at which your child excels. Showing your child that you love, value, and respect him is a cornerstone to helping him stay motivated. Let your child know that no matter how hard it is, and how much he struggles, it will not make you stop loving him.