New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Parents of ADHD Children

Disciplining a child with ADHD and Anxiety

I am at my wits end with our 8th grade daughter. My husband and I work full time jobs and our daughter gets off school 2 hours before we get home. By the time we get home, her homework should be done but no one is at home to police her actions but our teenage son. Her medication usually wears off by 6pm at the latest so getting her to concentrate on homework and getting things ready for the next day is nearly impossible. We are having a hard time keeping her organized and the work that she does do is never turned in on time. We want to punish her for lack of effort but not sure if our punishment is too extreme. Any suggestions on what is fair punishment?


Perhaps one idea would be to use a reward system. Find out what she really likes- Perhaps a restaurant or a yogurt place, or even a trip to Khols. Then you can set a policy that if she finishes her homework consistently for that week (or month), she can be rewarded by going to her favorite place.

Positive reinforcement works better than punishment for tasks.

In our house we usually reserve punishment for defiance or disrespect.

Posted by ACW on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:09pm

What about having her take a short-acting medicine around dinner that only lasts for 3 hours ?  It might help on those nights where there is a lot of homework or concentration is needed.

Posted by staypositive on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:28am

Generally, our kids do better with rewards rather than punishments.  It’s kind of semantics and flipping things around, but it seems to be more effective. Get creative and have plans a, b, c, etc. because just as you get comfortable with one program, our kids get bored and need something new.

Posted by Nemo on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:47am

Have a meeting to discuss what your expectations of “completing” homework are- kids dont understand that the task is bigger than written homeworks due the next day.  Cover the approach to projects/book reports and set time for an update 1-2 times a week to discuss new projects/review her plan and see progress she is making.
State your minimum expectations for how much studying time should occur for upcoming tests, and then your expectation for a brief review of notes for other classes with no upcoming test just to keep the material fresh. 
Once expectations are clearly understood and agreed upon -  a reward system for each day that she completes to the degree you have both agreed upon will keep her motivated.

Posted by momtodom on Nov 21, 2013 at 7:41am

When your daughter sees that she gets more attention from doing her homework than from NOT doing it, things may change. Reward the positive behavior and IGNORE the negative behavior. Talk about consequences and let your daughter make the decisions. Not doing homework could mean no special activity at home, a poor grade, consequences at school and a lack of free time at home. Set the rules, stick to them and the behavior will change.

Posted by RobertB on Nov 22, 2013 at 9:18pm

I have the same issue with my son.  His Dr. suggested talking about choices and good vs. bad consequences.  He loves to go to this place every Friday night at the church.  We had a discussion about doing homework and taking care of our responsibilities.  It is his choice but with every choice you have a consequence good or bad.  He had to miss his activity the first week because he did not make good choices.  It has improved but we have only been doing this a short time but so far so good.

Posted by msgreeneyes on Nov 23, 2013 at 2:15am

I feel that establishing a routine is best. If homework is from 4p to 6p weekdays, for example, it starts on time and ends on time. Homework needs to have a beginning and end time. If additional work is needed, it has to be scheduled. You cannot expect a child with ADHD to sit for more than 2-2.5 hours on homework (in general) before having to get a break. Kids with ADHD don’t need punishments as much as they need structure. I am not sure about withholding a social activity after church as I feel that socialization and involvement with sports and other extra curricular activities are needed. But, every child and activity is different and every parent knows their child’s buttons. That said, I really feel strongly about having structure and some consequences when necessary. You can’t be punishing from September till June. You have to find another way to make sense of it all. Working with the school on streamlining what is coming home and what really needs to be done is something that ought to be considered.

Posted by RobertB on Nov 23, 2013 at 12:13pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions