The ADHD Smarter Parenting’s Podcast

Ep #68: Following through with consequences with Jonathan Mendoza

February 12, 2020

One of the hardest things for most parents is following through with consequences. Parents have difficulty following through with consequences for several reasons. They forgot. They had no intention of ever following through (and the kid knows it). They choose a consequence that is unrealistic for them too do.

Jonathan Mendoza from Catholic Charities in Hawaii talking about the importance of Following Instructions and consequences for kids with ADHD. Children with ADHD struggle to connect their actions with positive or negative behavior, so parents need to focus on teaching cause and effect, and that’s done by rewarding good behavior or being consistent in following through with consequences.

When parents are consistent in rewarding behavior or following through with consequences, it helps a child connect their actions with the outcome. The behavior skill of Following Instructions is a great way to help a child learn how to connect their behavior to outcomes. 

We recommend that when parents start teaching Following Instructions, they begin small. Give your child small tasks that they need to accomplish. If they finish the job, immediately give them a little reward. The reward can be things like words of praise, a hug or high five, a sticker, or a small piece of candy. If the child doesn’t follow the instruction, immediately give them a consequence. The consequence could be something like losing playtime or tablet time, earning an extra chore, or timeout. What rewards or consequences you give your child will be different as you know what will work best for your child and your situation.

When a child has mastered Following Instructions for little things, it is easier for them to do it with big things.

It can be hard to be consistent in giving consequences or rewards, but it will make such a difference in your family. When you are consistent your child views you as fair and someone they can trust. 

To learn the behavior skills on Smarter Parenting visit:

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