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Berintia
Berintia asks:
Q:

How do I handle/discipline/help my 6yr old daughter with ADHD and Early Puberty?

My six year old daughter (only child) has been diagnosed with ADHD and EARLY PUBERTY (bone density and blood confirmed). The one day she is 100% cooperative the next as stubborn as ten. I discipline her in different ways: disobedience - naughty spot for 20-30 min; Untidy room - no entertainment/playing before it's tidy etc. but nothing seems to make an impact on her. She will look us in the eyes and (although she don't say it) give a stare that tells us "you're waisting your breath". The teachers at school complains about aggressiveness towards other children but at home we do not experience that, not even when friends come over. She loves contact (hugs and kisses), reading and writing, playing with dolls, she greatly care about and for animals (and insects), has an exceptional talent for languages, so intellectual I believe she's OK. It's just her behaviour that drives us up the walls.
In Topics: ADHD & attention issues, Discipline and behavior challenges, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Apr 18, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

For kids with ADHD, timers, schedules, and breaking things up into chunks can really help.  ADHD kids are notorious for their messy rooms, and it's probably pretty hard to get them to clean their rooms since they're notorious for procrastinating, too.  

For example, when you tell her to clean her room, maybe give her a warning.  Don't tell her to just drop everything and clean her room right now, because some kids with ADHD have trouble switching from one task to another.  You can instead tell her something like, "Hey, in about ten minutes, I want you to get up and start cleaning this room."  Use a timer!  When it bings, she knows it's time to get moving.

Also, if her room is a disaster, her brain might have a hard time figuring out how to start.  This is when you can break it up into chunks.  You can do it by breaking up the actual tasks into chunks, like telling her to pick up all the dirty clothes and then take a 5 minute break before picking up all the toys.  Or, you can tell her to just start cleaning as fast and efficiently as possible for 5 or 10 minutes (set the timer!) and then stop for a break.  If you just tell her to clean a super-messy room without any specific order, it might not work.

Lastly, keep things on a schedule.  Routine is really important for kids and adults with ADHD, because they don't have that structure in their minds.  They therefore need structure externally, like in their schedules or in their organization.  So when it comes to cleaning her room, maybe make it so that every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday afternoon, she has to clean it.  The more predictable life is for a kid with ADHD, the easier it is.

We hope this helped a bit.  Give it a shot and see what happens.  Good luck!

MKM, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
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