It's perfectly normal for children to repeat past mistakes, but children with ADHD seem to have more trouble learning from their mistakes than children without. However, just as there are variations in behaviors, there are also some differences in how children with ADHD learn from their mistakes. For instance, a younger child will repeat mistakes more than older children. A child who is not held accountable for bad behavior or rule breaking is more likely to repeat these behaviors than a child who is routinely disciplined.
It's also common for children with ADHD to repeat mistakes even if they know the consequences that follow. For instance, a boy with ADHD knows that he'll lose his video game privileges if he hits his brother, but he does it anyway when his brother grabs his favorite toy. The reason for this is due to the fact that children with ADHD have difficulty inhibiting their impulses and behaviors. Even if they know that an action wrong, they have difficulty resisting this action as soon as the thought enters their mind. In other words, they act before they think about the consequences.
The good news is that these behaviors can easily be corrected. Here are a few things suggested by Helene Goldnadel you can do to help your ADHD child learn from mistakes.
Children are often poor judges of their own behavior, and those with ADHD are even more so. They can easily find fault in others but fail to see their own shortcomings. Help your child develop a sense of self-awareness by pointing out how his or her behavior affects friendships, relationships, or school performance. Your child might not need your words at first but with your help, he or she can make the changes needed to get good grades or make lasting friendships.
A study done by the Leiden Brain and Cognition Lab discovered that children only learn from their mistakes after the age 12. Children eight years old and younger learn better from positive feedback ("Good job!"), but negative feedback does not necessarily keep them from repeating the same mistake. Reinforce a young child's good behavior with praise and small rewards. Spend more time focusing on behavior management rather than explaining the reasons behind a mistake.
To avoid hurtful language, teach your child proper ways to express emotions. Instead of, "You're stupid!" Tell your child to use phrases like, "That's not how you play the game."
Children learn best from their parents, and it will help if you show self-control during stressful situations. If the mistake is yours, admit that you are wrong. When you display these behaviors during tough times, your child might pick up a thing or two and follow your example.
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