Parent’s Behavioral Interventions have been found to be the most effective way of improving disruptive behavior in children, such as ADD/ADHD.
Dr. Alice Charach and colleagues at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto compared treatment methods used with children six years and younger between 1980 and 2011 and found that Parent Behavior Training was more effective in improving child behavior than either medication (methylphenidrate) or combined home-and school-based interventions.1
What can you do right now to help your child?
I have worked with parents of children in pre-school to college years. For me, the simplest approach is to help the parent feel more centered and in control themselves. There are many ways to approach this goal, and the approach will vary according to the individual parent. Overall, however, the parent shifts from feeling overwhelmed to acting more like a Coach. Approaching your child as a Coach is explained in more detail in Behavior Therapy: The Specifics of Parent Training, a website created by Pediatricians for parents, teachers and therapists. As Coach your goal is to help your child develop a stronger sense of Self-Control.
is the corner stone in building strong skills of Executive Function, the brain processes involved with the ability to formulate, prioritize, initiate and execute goals and intentions. If children are not guided in how to make effective choices on their own when they are young, it will be challenging for them to develop these skills as adults.
This ability to promote effective decision-making in your child is best remembered with the acronym PIN:
- Praise behavior that you would like to see again
- Ignore behaviors that you would like to diminish
- Nip behaviors that are dangerous or harmful to others or self, or highly disruptive
These interventions are best implemented consistently and clearly. Ensure that you have your child’s attention by looking into their eyes, touching them lightly on the arm in a warm supportive manner, and clearly either praising the behavior or asking that the dangerous or disruptive behaviors stop. The basic PIN approach in helping children develop a stronger sense of Self-Control can also be found within the 1-2-3 Magic parenting program
A strong sense of Self-control is going to help your child be more successful in managing his or her emotions, behavior, and any other school- and home-based activities.
1Charach, A, et al “Interventions for preschool children at high risk for ADHD: a comparative effectiveness review” Pediatrics 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0974.
By, Peregrine Kavros, Clinical Neurophychologist