How to Manage ADHD Children with Positive Thinking

As a teacher of a child with ADHD it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind of focusing on all the child’s problems, especially when they appear to continue relentlessly day after day. Most children with ADHD are extremely nice children underneath their difficulties, and always have strengths as well as weaknesses.

Try to find these strengths. It may be that they know more about a specific toy, animal or activity than other children and this can be encouraged. Their ability to over-focus on matters they find interesting may lead them to have particular interests which can be built upon to strengthen their self-esteem.

ADHD Children

Try to think of the positives as much as possible. For example:

  • Hyperactive children can be seen as having high energy, doing lots of things at once, and having the ability to work longer than most other children.
  • Daydreaming children can be seen as being imaginative and innovative, as well as creative.
  • Daring and impulsive behaviour can be seen as risk-taking or as willingness to try new things.
  • Poor planners who are disorganized can also be flexible and ready to change strategy quickly.
  • A child who is manipulative might be seen as being a good delegator or able to get others to do things.
  • A child who questions authority might be seen as being independent and a free-thinker, able to make decisions.
  • A child who is excessively argumentative may be seen as being persuasive or someone who will ‘make a good lawyer one day’,
  • A child with poor handwriting may ‘make a good doctor one day’!
  • A child who is bossy and domineering may be a very determined adult and may be good leadership material,
  • A child who is strong-willed can be seen as tenacious and able to carry things through.

Teachers often say that the child with significant ADHD in their class is often the hardest to teach and manage. Therefore at the end of the year it is important to reflect on what has gone wrong and what has gone right, to practise forgiveness and to identify the strengths and weaknesses and where things might be improved for the next school year. Being forced to reflect in this way can sometimes shed light on a better way forward, especially when it is done from an understanding of ADHD. Look at which strategies have worked best for the child, whether it has been possible to protect and improve his self-esteem during the year, whether compared to the start of the school year he has matured both in confidence and in his ability to relate to peers. If there are still difficulties in peer relationships, analyse the reasons for this. Is it due to his dogmatism, his impulsiveness, or does he appear to be content without friendships?

Reflect on his academic progress. Is he possibly more talented than has been appreciated? Is he more adept verbally than he is at getting things down in writing, and are sufficient accommodations and supports being given for this? Frequently, problems with written expression mean that these children significantly underachieve.

In so many ways children with ADHD represent one of the biggest challenges for teachers, partly because their very symptoms are the antithesis of what is necessary to cope and achieve well in a classroom setting. On reflection, give yourself credit for all the positive things that have happened and how much progress you have made with the child. Remember to pass on all your knowledge and understanding of your ADHD child to his teacher for the next year.

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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