Behavioral approaches to ADHD include establishing structure, feedback, positive reinforcement, problem-solving, communication, and self-advocacy skills. It is best to involve older children and teenagers in creating agreements and goals. Some families have had success with using a “report card" approach; parents and teenagers may establish a “contract” for family behavior.
A therapist can work with the child and the family to explore issues, thoughts, and feelings related to family life, school, and self-esteem. Therapy can also focus on developing social skills and learning new behaviors.
Praise and rewards are keys to a behavioral approach to ADHD. Many children with ADHD are used to being scolded, harshly disciplined, and criticized. It is understandable for parents to become frustrated when responding to a child with ADHD. However, harsh discipline and criticism can make the problems of ADHD worse rather than relieve them. On the other hand, setting clear goals for good behavior and praise for achieving those goals can go a long way toward helping a child learn new skills.