Children with ADHD are no different than any other regular preschooler age kids. They got temper tantrums, interrupts you when you’re talking on the phone or when you’re with someone, and shout while on the dinner table to get attention. It’s just that children with ADHD tend to do things in a quite exaggerated way because of too much energy and they do it quite more often. According to Monnica T Williams Ph.D., “Children with ADHD have difficulty focusing on all but the most engaging tasks, are easily distracted, and need greater stimulation to maintain attention.”
Introduce Good Manners And Be His Model
“In order to encourage positive change in all settings, children with ADHD need consistency,” writes Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and Melinda Smith, M.A. Introducing your kid to social manners should start early in his life. You can begin these as soon as he reaches his pre-school age by setting a good example for him. Doing it in a fun way is proven to be useful for the kid to feel that he is not forced to do it, and it’s just the reasonable thing to do. During your dinner or even while watching TV, you can have fun with social graces by saying “please” when asking him to hand you something or do something for you. When he’s done, say “thank you” with a grateful smile. You can even rehearse saying, “How do you do?” and “Fine, thank you,” during your playtime bonding with him.
When outside your home, you can prompt him to practice good manners through your leading, and it will, later on, help him navigate the quirks of social situations. Understanding, learning, and putting good manners into practice allows him to focus on the world around him. It may help him lessen his tantrums and being loud. In turn, people around him will welcome him warmly and love him the way he is. This success in instilling in him proper social manners will be a boost to his self-esteem.
Children have the tendency to get impatient when you keep reiterating to them about table manners. The better way for him to enjoy the learning is to set a date once a week in which he can practice good behaviors. Tell your kid ahead of time what manners are to be expected from him, like saying “please” and “thank you.” Of course, it is anticipated for you to take the lead as mentioned above for you are his role model.
Often your kid will be invited to birthday parties, family gatherings, and other social activities. Don’t forget to rehearse the manners that are required of him. This time, besides the “please” and “thank you,” practice with him such words as, “excuse me” and “goodbye.” You can also explain to him the importance of being patient, especially with their playmates, and the avoidance of throwing tantrums and being too noisy when things don’t go their way. Show him the proper way to get your attention whenever you are in the middle of a conversation.
Practicing with him the day before the event has a higher probability of success than doing it weeks before, for it might overexcite him.
Praises Always Work Wonders
Always compliment your kid when he successfully uses proper behaviors. Praises work wonders and go a long way in a child who is learning something new. Letting him know that he has done an excellent job and rewarding him a bit boosts his confidence and inspires him to do better.
There’s no such thing as too late in teaching your kid with ADHD to learn social manners. Every child loves make-believe play, and it’s one of the best vehicles to guide him in a fun way. When children see social behaviors as something good and at the same time fun, the higher is the chance that he will follow and practice them. “Be open to hearing your child talk about anything that might be bothering him and distracting him from learning,” suggests Marilyn Wedge Ph.D.
Children with ADHD are quite challenging to parent. They have trouble not just with understanding, but following important directions as well. But as long as you set a good example, it is most likely that he will follow you, because most kids (whether with ADHD or not) tend to look up to their parents as their role model.
If training them is such a challenge on your part, you can always seek your therapist’s guidance on teaching your ADHD kid social manners. It is essential for you to prepare your kid to have the ability to face the world with so much positivity and confidence.