Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


These manifest a series of behaviors that, traditionally due to ignorance; They cause them to be labeled "difficult," "naughty," or "bad." Said behaviors are mainly characterized by a lack of impulse control and difficulty in maintaining voluntary attention, among others .

ADHD in boys and girls

The guilt parents of "difficult children" may experience is a very common feeling. Minors absorb all the information from their environment and it is normal for parents to think that they may have been a bad example. But, although it is true that a very high percentage of the behaviors of minors is learned by modeling, in the case of ADHD, tutors have usually had little to do with it.

What usually happens is that guidelines have been created that unconsciously harm the minor ; which means that the behaviors associated with the disorder are more intense, frequent and annoying. It may be that you are using inadequate reinforcement systems or reinforcers (rewards) that do not work. It should be borne in mind that traditional educational forms do not usually give good results with children with ADHD.

It is possible that the impotence felt by the parents has turned into "throwing in the towel". It should be noted that it is a very difficult task for parents because the impulsive or hyperactive behavior of the minor is perceived by parents as aversive and intrusive , usually causing negative reactions in adults. No professional will hold parents accountable, however, and seeking help is one of the most responsible things you can do for your son / daughter.

It is just as important to educate parents on the responses to the child's behaviors as it is on the minor himself . A psychology professional can recognize these guidelines and begin to help break them and develop new ones.

Once we have removed the guilt and understood the disorder, we must act with specific behaviors to improve the quality of life of the minor and that all cognitive and physiological needs are met.

What can I do for my child with ADHD?

The following actions are aimed at improving interactions with the minor and that both parents and he feel more secure and take control when acquiring new effective behaviors. These are some tools that are worked in psychological consultation during the training program for parents of minors with ADHD .

1. Strengthen strengths

González de Mira (1997) has observed that minors with ADHD tend to have a good visual and auditory memory, high levels of creativity and a sense of humor, are sensitive and are very committed to their loved ones, as well as being very energetic . For this reason, it is important that parents emphasize these positive characteristics, in order to encourage the little ones to develop a good self-esteem .

2. Improve communication

In a family with a child with ADHD, the number and frequency of negative interactions is usually quite high. Effective communication can lessen the negative effect of the disorder on the family and on the child .

Parents should be made to understand that if it is difficult for them to communicate assertively with the minor and they are frustrated; the minor also has difficulties due to the disorder itself. In addition, being a minor, he has not yet acquired resources to solve problems or for effective communication .

Becoming aware of this breaks the competitiveness that parents of minors with ADHD usually have with them and focuses on changing attitudes that harm the solution of the problem.

3. The attitude in communication

Expectations arise from the assessment we make of people that will influence our attitude when dealing with them. It has been revealed in several investigations that minors perceive themselves based on the opinion that their parents or guardians have of them .

Expectations would be related to the implicit theories of personality and to the Pygmalion effect (the expectations that a tutor has for his student directly influence his performance).

The minor with ADHD is usually labeled as restless, bad, annoying ... so the minor builds the self-image from these traits. The direct consequence of this is that the minor orients his conduct to the coherence with those expectations that they have of him / her, since they serve as a guide for action.

Children with ADHD work with clear, concise messages and directly specifying what is expected of him / her. Verbal and nonverbal communications must consistently coincide .

4. The right time to communicate

It is very important to choose the right situation to give orders to your son or daughter or to make him understand.

That moment of negotiation can never arise in the discussion , in which specific instructions must be given. If the situation is negative or unfavorable, it is highly unlikely that a favorable resolution will be reached.

In addition, parents should ignore tantrums or inappropriate behaviors in order not to reinforce them with attention and not to repeat them.

5. Ability to listen

A good strategy is to have a conversation with your sons / daughters so that they communicate their concerns, in which they must apply these guidelines: listen calmly, do not disagree or give advice, propose a solution that allows the minor to freely express all your wishes, fears or frustrations. In this way the minor feels confidence in his parents and encourages him to ask for help about what happens to him .

6. How to give information

Gordon called the different alternatives to expose a demand from parents to sons / daughters: messages from me and messages from you .

Me's messages are statements by parents in which they report what they think, feel and want about the child's behavior, but without falling into blame or critical comments.

Tu's messages focus on censorship and recrimination using criticism and negative labeling of the minor.

Parents of minors with ADHD tend to use your messages much more with their sons / daughters. You can begin to identify when those messages are told to minors and turn them into messages from me.

7. Conflict resolution and communication skills

It is very beneficial to understand that in any conflict you have to give in and, at the same time, benefit in some way from the solution . Even being in a position of authority in front of your son / daughter, it should always be borne in mind that the minor can also be right.

When we talk about addictions, alcohol or hard drugs immediately come to mind, but in reality there is a wide range in terms of these types of disorders and also addictive behaviors.

Perceptual distortions are phenomena that alter our ability to perceive the environment in a realistic way. Do you want to know what types of distortions exist and how they can be classified? Do not miss it!