Working together

Managing behaviours

Working together

This section helps parents, carers and teachers to:

  • Agree a consistent approach to managing aspects of a child’s behaviour

  • Work together to improve a child’s behaviour at home and school.

This section also helps teachers to:

  • Identify actions to take to help manage the behaviour of a child with ADHD consistently through the school day

  • Consider the impact on children with ADHD where schools do not manage behaviour in a consistent way

  • Agree a plan for a child so that all staff responsible for them take a shared and consistent approach to managing their behaviour.

On this page:

  1. Consistent approaches to behaviour ↓
  2. Discussion guide: consistent approaches to managing behaviour ↓
  3. Creating a consistent approach within the school ↓
  4. Discussion guide: agreeing a consistent approach within the school ↓

Consistent approaches to behaviour

Working together for a consistent approach towards behaviour at home and at school can:

  • Help the parents/carers and teachers develop a better understanding of the strengths and challenges associated with a child’s behaviour
  • Show the child that teachers and parents communicate and that there is agreement on important rules and expectations.

Ways to work together include:

  • Being consistent
    • Same expectations of behavior at home and school
  • Using clear, consistent consequences
    • Same consequences for unwanted behavior at home and school
  • Acting immediately
    • Rewards and consequences happen as soon as possible after the behavior
  • Giving the child clear feedback
    • Encouraging and praising good behavior
    • Helping them to understand the effect of unwanted behavior
  • Keeping rewards and consequences ‘fresh’
    • Although consistency is important, consider when new types of rewards are needed to prevent boredom and lack of interest.

How can I help, I’m listening, children with ADHD

So, what are some of the ways to manage behaviours? Teachers have many techniques, for example:

  • Find out what’s wrong
  • Offer to help
  • Make sure your body language is not threatening
    • Get by their side, rather than face to face
    • Don’t get too close
    • Avoid standing over them
    • Avoid pointing
    • Try to look caring rather than angry
  • Avoid getting drawn into confrontation with the child
    • Calmly make clear what behavior is expected
  • If appropriate to the situation, use humour to ‘diffuse’ or relax the atmosphere.

Success depends on good communication between teachers, parents and carers. For example:

  • Agreeing how often and how to communicate
  • Sharing what works, and together trying to improve what doesn’t work
  • Being open and honest about challenging behaviour.
Back to menu ↑
,

Discussion guide: Consistent approaches to managing behaviour

This discussion guide helps teachers, parents and carers to:

  • Discuss and agree how to ensure a consistent approach to managing aspects of a child’s behaviour
  • Work together to improve a child’s behaviour at work and school.

Agreeing a consistent approach (for use by parents)

A discussion guide to help parents and carers agree with teachers upon a consistent approach to managing and improving aspects of their child’s behaviour

View

Agreeing a consistent approach (for use by teachers)

A discussion guide to help teachers agree with parents and carers upon a consistent approach to managing and improving aspects of a child’s behaviour

View

Back to menu ↑
,

Creating a consistent approach within the school

As children with ADHD can thrive on familiar structure and routines, management of their behaviour can form part of a strategy that includes their time before, during and after school.

You can use this short tool to:

  • Think about some of the issues that can arise when children with ADHD are not managed consistently by different staff members
  • Identify how to start building a consistent approach within the school.

Creating a consistent approach to managing behaviours in the school

A coaching tool that looks at how to build a consistent approach to managing behaviours in the school

View

Back to menu ↑
,

Discussion guide: agreeing a consistent approach within the school

This discussion guide helps teachers and other staff to:

  • Discuss and agree a management plan for a child.

Discussing management plans in school (for use by the key teacher)

A discussion guide to help teachers and other staff discuss and agree a management plan for a child

View

Discussing management plans in school (for use by all staff)

A discussion guide to help teachers and other staff discuss and agree a management plan for a child

View

Back to menu ↑
References 

Bjornstad G, Montgomery P. Family therapy for attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005; (2): CD005042.

Coghill D, et al. Child Adol Psychiatry Mental Health 2008;2(1):31.

Dosani S. Calm your hyperactive child (2008). Oxford, UK: Infinite Ideas Ltd.

Greenbaum J, Markel G. Helping adolescents with ADHD and learning disabilities (2001). San Francisco, US: Jossey-Bass.

Handelman K. Attention Difference Disorder (2011). New York, US: Morgan James Publishing.

Laver-Bradbury C, et al. Step by step help for children with ADHD (2010). Philadephia, US: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

O’Regan F. How to teach and manage children with ADHD (2010). Nottingham, UK: LDA.

Pfiffner LJ. All about ADHD (2011). London, UK: Scholastic.

Ziegler Dendy CA. Teenagers with ADD and ADHD (2006). Bethesda, US: Woodbine House.

These materials have been produced with practical advice and guidance provided by the expert European ADHD Awareness Taskforce.

Resources