When ADHD Drains and Strains Sibling Relationships

In families touched by ADHD, conflicts often erupt around fairness, inclusion, competition, and avoidance. Use these 7 strategies to resolve clashes with fairness and understanding.

6/15/2021 4:05:00 PM

In families touched by ADHD, conflicts often erupt around fairness, inclusion, competition, and avoidance. Use these 7 strategies to resolve clashes with fairness and understanding.

In families touched by ADHD, sibling conflicts often erupt around fairness, inclusion, competition, and avoidance. Here, find parent strategies for creating healthy outlets for strong emotions, enforcing fair consequences, and resolving clashes between children with and without ADHD.

around behaviors that won’t be permitted, like name-calling or physical aggression. Write down agreed-upon consequences, like doing the dishes, taking the dog for an extra walk or not earning screen privileges, on separate slips of paper, fold them up and put them in a jar. When there’s a violation, ask your child to pick a consequence from the jar and set a plan for fulfilling it. I call this “Cup o’ Consequences.”

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7. Take a Time-ApartEmotions snowball so quickly that feelings are hurt sometimes before we’ve realized what’s happening. After a conflict, push pause and separate the children. Research shows that it takes 15 to 20 minutes for the brain to settle down after an amygdala hijack. After a quiet break, come back together and talk about what happened and how to move forward.

Fairness is a big issue in most families.Fairness isn’t about equality, but rather feeling listened to and included in family plans and daily activities. Use incentives and reward charts for everyone, but adjust expectations according to ages and abilities. Explain to your kids how that’s what fairness actually looks like. Equality in families isn’t about who gets more and who gets to do what. headtopics.com

Taking a Time-Apart teaches everybody about emotional regulation. Your children watch how you respond to their siblings, with or withoutADHD. It’s crucial for parents to practice emotional control so that our kids see how to do it and then they learn to practice it on their own. Use humor and maintain your perspective. Look at the big picture during trying moments: What’s the big goal here? What’s the most important thing to do right now? Practice compassion. Siblings prefer harmony in the family but just may not know how to get there. Your children will follow your lead.

Sibling Relationships with ADHD: Next Steps Read more: ADDitude »

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