Basic Tips for ADHD Management in Children

– by Mary Fowler* –

3 Steps For Improving Performance –

There are three essential conditions that help kids with ADHD improve their performance. –

1.  Create a structure

Create a structure that helps guide his behavior with rules and routines. For example, with academics, the structure would be tasks matched to his skill level so that it does not drive him to frustration.

2.  Provide frequent positive feedback

Provide frequent positive feedback about how he is doing. Pay positive attention to any behaviors or approximations that are done well. Reward progress, not perfection. Redirect him when behavior goes off the mark.

3.   Give consequences that are consistently linked

Give consequences that are consistently linked to how he behaves. You will want to know what these are ahead of time, and so will he.

These three conditions apply to behavioral, academic, and social performance. Once you master the art of creating these conditions, you simply reproduce them on large and small scales to guide and assist your child. For example, you want to get your child to the dinner table on time.


Dinner is served at roughly the same time every night, which creates a routine.


You must be seated at the table before the food is served. You might give your child the chore of setting the table so he is in the vicinity of the table when the food is served. This also provides your child with another opportunity to earn privileges for doing chores.

Frequent Feedback

You monitor whether or not your child is there on time (or if you have to give reminders, and how many). By the way, you should never give more than one reminder unless you also give a negative consequence for needing to issue a second reminder. Praise your child when he’s there on time.


The praise you give in the feedback stage would be the consequence of doing what is expected. But you could sweeten the pie by charting her performance over a seven- day period and making a special reward, such as dinner out at a restaurant or picking the meals for the next two days.

Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from 20 Questions to Ask if Your Child Has ADHD© 2006 Mary Fowler. Published by Career Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ. All rights reserved.

*About the Author

Mary Fowler

*Mary  Fowler trains educators and parents on ADHD, emotional challenges, and classroom management practices. An internationally recognized expert on ADHD, she is the author of four books, including the best seller, Maybe You Know My Kid (3rd edition), the original CHADD Educators Manual20 Questions to Ask If Your Child has ADHD, numerous book chapters, and the ADHD Briefing Paper (National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities). She is a contributing author to the newly published book: Emotional Disorders: A Neuropsychological, Psychopharmacological, and Educational Perspective.

ADDR Reviewed 8-22-2015 (mm)
Tags: , , , , ,


There are no comments yet.

Leave a Reply


Recent Articles