L: James, you mentioned accountability. Creating a culture of accountability. What does that mean? Can you explain that and how, what it means to parents and kids.
J: First of all, when we start with accountability, one of the things that I talk to teachers and parents about is creating a culture of accountability. And that culture of accountability occurs between two people. So when we talk about what’s on TV, what they’re learning in the movies, what their video games is, that, that’s fine. But the culture of accountability comes with, this is how I’m gonna talk to you and this is how you have to talk to me. This is what I’m gonna expect of you and this is what you can expect of me. That’s very clearly learned out. That you’re accountable for the way you talk to me and treat me. You’re accountable for your responsibilities and you can expect me to take responsibility to be accountable for my responsibilities. I’m gonna pay the rent, I’m gonna have food on the table, I’m gonna make sure that we have a place to live. You have to talk to me appropriately, you have to do your schoolwork and you have to learn how to solve life’s problems without hurting other people.
MG: I think it’s important to note James that a culture of accountability isn’t just a parent child thing. We even as adults need to be accountable; we are accountable every day to someone.
J: That’s right, well, I don’t think people are accountable to a culture. I think that that develops between people. Between individual people and groups. So even personal relationships and work relationships.
J: Work. I’m accountable to that job. I’m accountable to my role in that business. I’m accountable to that business. They’re gonna pay me, that’s what I expect of them, they expect me to do the role that they defined for me. They also expect me to do it with some quality and some efficiency.
MG: So as a parent, what you’re setting your child up for by expecting him to be accountable to you is the whole mindset that you will always be accountable to someone. This is a coping skill. This is a problem solving skill you have to learn.
J: Absolutely. Look, when you hold your child accountable, when you develop that culture of accountability, you as a parent have a responsibility to teach that child to acquire the skills he’s gonna need to be able to be accountable. People who can’t be accountable for their homework disrespect other people. People who can’t be accountable for their behavior turn it around and challenge you and act out. So when you’re having a culture of accountability, there’s a two–way thing. I expect you to do the right thing and you can expect me to teach you how to do the right thing.
MG: So my job as a parent then is to set specific standards, to set specific goals, to set attainable landmarks that a child can say, if I do this, I become accountable. If I do this, I’m behaving responsibly.
J: Yeah, it’s not only setting goals. It’s giving the skills to reach the goal. So let’s say I’m a parent and my goal is that you’re gonna sink five throws from the free throw line in basketball out of ten. Well I just can’t put you up there with a ball and tell you do it, that’s my goal. I’ve gotta show you how to do it. I’ve gotta show you how you place your feet, how you place your arms. How you propel the ball. I’ve gotta spend some time practicing with you. I’ve gotta show you how to do these things and I’ve gotta practice them. So it’s not setting the goals, it’s giving the kid the skills. Acquiring the skills yourself for an understanding of what it takes. Using the tools and using the skills.
James Lehman had a very personal understanding of kids with behavior problems. He displayed severe oppositional, defiant behaviors as a child and teenager, and became a Behavioral Therapist specializing in helping troubled children, teens and their families for 30 years.
Janet Lehman, MSW Child Behavior Therapist
Janet Lehman has over three decades of clinical experience working with out–of–control children and teens and their parents. Working in group homes and residential treatment centers, Janet helped children with serious behavioral disorders learn to get their behavior under control.
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In this podcast, Dr. Bob Myers tells parents about the current research on kids with ADHD and ADD, and how experts are finding that behavioral training can be just as effective in helping improve their symptoms as medication is—and sometimes even more so!
I wish he had advised how/where to find this behavioral training and parent training! The schools have been dead-ends, even the doctor's office took it only so far and I feel at a loss as to where to go next. Everything I read seems directed toward young children and I am trying to hold my older teen.
Comment By : brender
Great information, really useful to us as a family dealing with a son who may be ADHD. We are going through the process now of getting paperwork together to help us and his Pediatrician decide what will work best and now I feel like I have a little bit more leverage when speaking with the doctor at the next visit. Thank you!
Comment By : Jabberbox21
My daughter is a college freshman who has been on meds since she was diagnosed with ADD in 3rd grade. She's a very good student, but I would love for her to have a drug free life. What kind of success have you had with behavior therapy and weaning older patients from their meds?
Comment By : JulMr
i have my niece and nephew living with me,and it seems they test me, they are good kids and need alot of love,they give it back too, but my nephew does get distracted in school, and here at home, he will throw a fit because he gets stuck on something, as we go on i show him and then he says that was easy, but the teacher thinks he should be on meds. he is a hyper 5 yr.old. and he will cry if he does not get his way or what he wants, so then his sister sees this and does the same but she is good in school, and i do not have problems with her(4yrs.old)when we go to town. only when she wants to react her brothers behavior, i explain that when going out does not mean that they will be getting a toy. am i doing the right thing.
Comment By : cappy 2u
to all parents who are in a quandary and the families who have been suffering because of hyperactivity, impulsivity, etc., do not give up! After visiting our pediatrician for years, we have finally found a dr. who administered an eeg to our daughter and diagnosed her with add, adhd. Help was available all along, but our previous dr. did not offer it. We now know what we have to deal with and how to help her best. Don't give up! Keep seeking medical help from other sources until you have an answer that is working for you.
Comment By : happy mom
on my previous coment about my niece and nephew the teacher wrote a letter to their dr. and pointed out what his actions were in class, but the dr. told me that he was ok, that he had alot to deal with, due to the monthly visits with their mom, and that affects them.
so today he had an episode and i just got him and hugged him and told him he was loved. there was a relief look in face, so thanks for the info that we as parents don't know.
Comment By : cappy 2u
* Dear Brender:
Adolescents go through tremendous physical and emotional changes during their teen years. There can be increased rebellion against parental authority, with arguments and disrespect. This behavior can be magnified if your child is struggling with ADHD. You can find parent training and behavioral training in Dr. Bob’s own program, Total Focus. Total Focus will teach you how to use positive reinforcement to improve behavior and performance, using techniques Dr. Bob has personally used to help kids concentrate, stay on task, and to improve self-control. Dr. Bob uses behavior modification, cognitive behavioral therapy and cognitive rehabilitation or "brain training" techniques in this program. Total Focus is a multi-media program that comes to you on CD with an interactive workbook, daily success charts for teachers and a handy "stress meter" to help your child recognize when he's "over the top" and stay calm under stress. The program includes audio lessons for your child to listen to. When you order Total Focus, you can then subscribe to the Support Line Service to talk live with specialists trained in using the program techniques. They can help you with any questions you might have in implementing the program in your specific situation.
If your teen is really struggling with making a lot of poor decisions and impulsive behaviors, there is additional help in the Total Transformation Program. This is a parent training program that helps parents recognize their own responses to their child’s behavior and teaches how to be more effective in their parenting techniques. It shows parents how to effectively set limits, coach their child on how to problem solve, to help a child recognize their faulty thinking and to direct the child to use coping skills to manage strong emotions.
In addition to these two exceptional products, if you are looking to find supports in your own local area, these web sites will direct you to local resources, including support groups. They are: www.chadd.org, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and www.add.org, Attention Deficit Disorder Association.
I hope this is helpful. Please stay in touch!
Comment By : Carole Banks, Parental Support Line Advisor
IT'S A BLESSING TO KNOW THINGS ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN. THE BIBLE SAID WEAKER AND WISER.BACK IN THE DAYS WE HAD RESPECT AND LORD KNOWS,IF GOD'S NOT IN IT, IT WON'T WORK.
Comment By : Lillian Manning
I disagree. I think medication is an important part of treatment for A.D.H.D. My child and myself are much more relaxed with him on medication. I have a great deal of experience with discipline and behavior modification.
Comment By : hotwheels
According to a Frontline documentary on IPTV, there are five times more children diagnosed with ADHD in the United States than the rest of the world put together. Of course this means that there are many more on drugs as well.
Drugs should be the last resort, and even then should only be used for a short period of time to begin behavioral management interventions and to teach the child social skills.
The school tried to get us to put our kindergartner on drugs too. Our response was to take him to a psychologist for tests. The psychologist we chose also had a reputation for not over-diagnosing ADHD.
His behaviors were noted as high levels of ADHD type in the school environment and at his mothers. However, for our home they were rated as low with possibility of ADHD. So, that just proved to me that the "Kid is as good as the adults around him". I have always maintained that belief. I believe that many of these kids just need "Drill Sergeants" as parents and educators.
Also many of these kids that have been on the ADHD drugs are now being found to have high blood pressure when they reach adulthood! I think America is going to have to a huge fall-out from their years of drug dependence for treatment of these kids.
Comment By : khar59
My son was diagnosed in the 2nd grade with Dyslexia. He did poorly that year and repeated 2nd grade again. He did better, but still struggled with homework for hours with his father's help. When he takes his Adderall during school he is making great grades, but he has no appetite and is more lethargic. When he doesn't take his meds he seems to overeat, but is much more playful and outgoing. He is not a discipline problem at all. Can training get him off his meds and still allow him to function well in school?
Comment By : Lindi Roberts
my grandson is 7 and on medication, but he still has problems at home with his dad and stepmom, he is a sweet loving boy here as i am the grandma, but he does have a problem at school and home, the stitter says she don't have any problems,they say there is food for the brain that they use up faster, but i can't find what it is to see if it will help him, what can we do to help him he is going to 1st grade, but will need help, each year is getting harder for him, so please help us to help him,
Comment By : grandma
My son just turned 13 and at times he is great to be around and then he will change on a time. My husband was about 4 years ago told by his DR. he has bipolar, he only stayed on the med's for a short time. ( his choice ) Now our son is acting like his dad and I don't know if it is him acting like his dad from years of growing up around that kind of additude or is it A.D.H.D or Bipolar or what? This has been going on now for about 3 years. We are at our last straw with him. He can become very hotheaded. What should I do? We have tried counseling.