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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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2.7 Rewards and Positive Reinforcement for Home and School

Home Rewards

It is important to catch your child being good, that is, demonstrating appropriate behavior. Be particularly generous with praise, attention, and social reinforcers during that time.

Social Rewards

  • Positive attention from parents—preferably your undivided attention for even a short amount of time
  • Parents’ physical signs of affection (hugs, kisses, cuddles)
  • Smiles, thumbs-up, high fives, winks
  • Playful attention (piggyback rides, sharing jokes)
  • Relaxed time together (talking, playing, doing an activity together)
  • Specific, sincere praise and recognition:
    • “That sure was grown up (or mature) of you when…”
    • “That was great the way you…”
    • “I'm so proud of how you…”
    • “That was so helpful when you…Thank you!”
    • “I can really tell you worked hard on…”
    • “Let's make a copy of this for Grandma…”
    • “Let's hang this up somewhere special…”
    • “Great job on how you…”
    • “I can't wait to tell Dad how you…”
    • “I knew you could do it!”
    • “You are making such great progress. I can tell you've really been practicing.”
  • Most all children and teens (particularly those with ADHD) need additional incentives. Any privileges, items, and activities your child finds of value and would be motivated to work toward earning could be used as rewards. It is recommended to create a reward menu together with your child and be sure to change that menu as often as necessary to maintain your child's interest.

Activity Rewards and Privileges

  • Playing a special indoor ...

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