Possitive reinforcement ideas for my 7 year old ADHD daughter


Natalie - posted on 01/28/2010




When my daughter was 7 and in second grade, she nearly failed. She was having SO much trouble in school. I started a 'store' and she was paid for her grades in poker chips that she would later redeem at the store for what she wanted (a new DS game, staying up 10 minutes past bedtime, new pretty pencils - mostly stuff I got at the flea market or dollar store). That worked so well that by the end of the year she had made honor roll (when at the beginning of the year we were discussing what we would do if she had to repeat the second grade). Now - we celebrate report cards. When she brings in a good report card she gets either money or a little ice cream social with her friends (they come over and I serve up Ice Cream with all the toppings). It's still working well.


View replies by

Melissa - posted on 01/31/2010




Sounds so much like our daughter! I teach special ed. and have some hints for you. First, any kind of movement could help your daughter immensely---worry stones, gum, core disk seat to sit on, etc. I could help you brainstorm that. Also, we do quite a few reward charts. I could forward you a few ideas. Feel free to message me or e-mail me at kidsfirst6@yahoo.com.

Vicki - posted on 01/30/2010




I find regular intervals of exercise or heavy lifting help calm my son. Also, having something to fidget with, like a piece of clay or a huge rubber band tied around his chair legs was helpful. Much of my son's behavior issues at school come from boredom, and lack of understanding social norms. This is a challenge we are always working on. He is a gifted academic student, but socially behind his peers which makes for an interesting challenge. We have not chosen to medication. Instead we try a mix of rewards and consequences, along with proper nutrition (protein and omega 3), and talk therapy with an experienced psychologist who truly "gets" him. It is extremely challenging for my 10 year old "hunter" to learn how to get along in the farmers world.

Kristi - posted on 01/26/2010




My 10yr old son has ADHD and it was certainly a struggle for a while! We're blessed that he goes to a school that works very well with him and his struggles. He goes to a Montessori school and his class has only 12 students. When he's having a hard time concentrating on work, his teacher lets him listen to an ipod to eliminate distractions. My son is on Adderal, however we are very mindful with his meds. Not on weekends and not during holidays/vacations and we refuse to increase his dosage when he starts to act up. We really believe he needs to figure some things out and the goal is to get him off before high school. My best advice is to see if you can get her into group therapy (this worked wonders for my son). They tech the kids coping mechanisms to adjust to his ADHD. We also use a reward system for positive behavior such as time on the Wii when work is done (getting ready for school by himself, taking care of the dogs, etc.). Also, giving him a time frame when his playing with a timer gives him warning so he's not upset when it's time for bed or time to leave the park. Also, one last bit of advice, ADHD kids tend to have a hard time sleeping so for our son, no T.V. or video games at least a half hour before bed, he must read or play to wind down and I give him Melatonin (natural supplement) to help relax before bed. Good Luck!

Joy - posted on 01/25/2010




I am right there with you ladies...we've chose not to medicate our daughter. We went organic, I feed her lots of protein & give her vitamins and omegas as well. We tried therapy for 18 months and it helped at 1st, but then it really wasnt helping anymore. We've set up an IEP plan at the school, they've placed an aid in the room, we have meetings monthly or bimonthly to discuss whats working and whats not & we have daily communication with the teacher as well. Not to mention I help out in the classroom on Tuesdays. The problem is her behavior comes in waves. She has improved a-lot at home, but at school she'll be doing really well with whatever we've come up with and then its like she just isnt interested in doing it anymore and starts acting up again. She seem to do well when theres a balance of consequences & positive reinforcement, but we are running out of ideas. So thats what Im looking for. Thanks!

Christina - posted on 01/24/2010




i have to agree with richelle. the control meds they put kids on are very over rated. when my son was diagnosed at 3, hes now 6, we put him on adderal. worst mistake of my life. he stopped eating and sleeping. yes he paid attention to things better but still not worth it. after the first 30 days it would stop working then i had to go through hell all over again for 2 more months before they changed his dosage. we did that for a year. after that year we took my son off the adderal and just left it alone. here 3 years later he still wont sleep through the nite plus he sleep walks alot. something he didnt do before. he also has doubled if not tripled in size because it supressed his appitite. my son short for his age but weight wise is a big boy. he should be alot taller then he is but the adderal also stunts your growth. make sure you think long and hard before putting you child on something. changing the diet helps to some degree and having patients to find out what works for you and your child. they are all different and what worked for me may not work for you but just do your best and talk to your childs doctor. you may not agree with them but its something to look into.good luck

Richelle - posted on 01/24/2010




My daughter is 9. When she was 5, she was diagnosed with ADHD, a learning disorder & an impulse control disorder...they wanted to put her on behavior control meds (something like ridalin). I said NO WAY! I did a lot of research on alternatives but didn’t follow any of the advice & stressed out for a few years, just taking it day by day!

When she was in grade 1, she used to sneak out of the classroom & be gone for long periods of time! She was always getting in trouble for anything & everything!

I pulled her out of the school system & began homeschooling her so she could have more 1 on 1 .... So in 2nd grade, we actually did grade 1 & 2!

Her behaviors were still so stressful and I tried quite a few different things like positive reinforcement, etc to no avail. I did some more research… I started changing my parenting skills, stopped using toxic cleaners, started feeding her lot’s of dark green veggies, restricting sweets to a minimum, giving her the best vitamins & omegas as well as something called PROVEX ( a NATURAL product proven to help kids with ADHD- I don't believe in chemical behavior meds), I also detoxed her with foot pads that take out heavy metals (my daughter is the size of a 12 yr old, & it is not recommended for small children)…

Now, less than 6 months later, my daughter & I get along great! Yes, we still bicker, but that’s normal! She has better concentration & her tantrums are pretty much gone!

She was just tested for reading & comprehension… she is only 91/2 & in grade 4 (still homeschooled) she is now @ a grade 7/8 reading & comprehension level!!!

If I can help you or give you any sort of hope, please contact me! I have done a lot of research & trial & error!!

Hope this helps :)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms