How to Counsel a Child With ADHD

ADHD can be rather upsetting for children and parents alike, but with proper help and counselling, you and your child can learn how to manage, direct and enhance your and your child’s behaviour. Counselling is a proactive step to help your child deal with ADHD. ADHD can be supported with medication, but the quality of interactions with a child with ADHD is key in fostering desirable behaviour and a positive sense of self for both the parent and the child[i].

Medication can only help your child for the period it is taken, and its effect will disappear when you stop using it; however, counselling can help you and your child create lasting habits through science-based insights that will provide an environment of understanding leading to more manageable behaviours. Counsellor provided tips and techniques that will help in the long run with managing ADHD and leading to a manageable home life and stronger relationships with self and others.

What is ADHD

ADHD, abbreviated as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurological condition referred to as an executive functioning condition that manifests in childhood and can continue throughout the lifespan. Executive functioning includes all the brain parts that make us human.

ADHD can be diagnosed in childhood or adulthood and is pervasive[ii]. ADHD causes the individual to experience hyperactivity, difficulty performing daily life tasks, struggles in retaining information, challenges engaging in the requirements of the moment, and seem dismissive or aloof. The struggles can lead to feeling like you are defective and a continual failure.

In turn, the child may exhibit challenging behaviours due to attempts to navigate the internal experience dealing with a brain that causes the child to show aberrant behaviours, leading to challenges with friends, school performance, or family interactions.

Child With ADHD

Causes of ADHD

ADHD has a high heritability rate.[iii] Other factors found to possibly contribute to some cases of ADHD include,

  • Premature Delivery
  • Exposure to poisonous substances such as lead or carbon during pregnancy.
  • Consumption of harmful substances such as Alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Brain injury
  • Low weight at birth

Why Counselling is Important for Kids with ADHD

Counselling is beneficial for children with ADHD. Counselling will help the child experience a place where they are not defective, understand the workings of the brain, and learn techniques to deal with ADHD through experiencing interactions that foster a positive sense of self. In turn, this contributes to positive daily living.

When a child has ADHD, the whole family can suffer. ADHD severely affects the child’s behaviour, social skills, and learning skills. Counselling will help the family in dealing with ADHD.

Standard Therapies to Help ADHD

The best way to support ADHD is through parent-child interaction therapy, alternatively known as parent training. In parent training, counselling sessions with therapists are arranged, and parental involvement with the therapist helps to get the best results.

Parent training is becoming more common as an intervention as it focuses on the brain growth of the child and the parent, so it is a win-win situation. It focuses on parents interacting with their children differently and positively. This type of interactive therapy improves the lives of everyone around them. Parent training lets you feel more understanding of behaviours, contributes to feeling more in control, improves confidence, and restores self-esteem. Instead of punishing your children for their poor behaviour, these methods feel rewarding and solicits desired behaviours.

Several parent trainings that have proven to be the most effective are:

  • Positive Parenting Program (PPP)
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Parent Management Training (PMT)

All of these therapies have the child as the center of their attention, but parents play a vital role in the success of these therapies. Most parents think that after taking the child to a therapist, only the therapist and the child need to do the work; however, that is not the case, as mutual hard work and understanding between all personnel involved is required for the therapies to yield the best result.

Child With ADHD

What Can A Therapist Do to Help in Counselling?

Usually, the therapy will go like this.

  • During the first few sessions, the therapist will ask you questions to help them better understand the history of the child’s
  • The therapist will ask the kid and parents about the common problems that the child faces.
  • The therapist will interact with the child in a way that models proactive interventions that encourage understanding and co-regulation with the child. He will listen to the child attentively, giving the child the idea that he is being given proper attention and restoring his confidence. The child will learn to talk about his emotions rather than display them through actions.
  • Co-regulation[iv] is the process that helps a child (and adult) develop the ability to regulate their emotional state. This process takes two people together and is developed together, not learned.
  • The therapist will use fun and exciting activities to teach the child to be better organized and to do daily tasks and homework properly. It will help the child perform better.
  • The therapist might also use fun games to play with the child, allowing the child to be patient and teach valuable lessons, like the ability to follow directions and wait for their turn.

Parent Training in Action

Parent training will focus on the interaction between the child and the parents. It allows the parents and kid to form a better bond, which helps the child’s behavioural presentation. The child will feel they are getting better attention from the ones they love and respect the most.

Basic Principle of Parent Training

These are the basic principles of parent training.

  • Working Together

Parents support a growth environment when they establish that the family is working together to help foster positive, proactive behaviours for all family members involved and that everyone will work as a team.

  • Setting Rewards and Consequences

When the kid achieves the goal, they should be rewarded. The reward does not have to be material; it can be simple words of praise and acknowledgment of the child’s achievement. If they do not comply with the instructions and cannot achieve the goal, adjustments can be made that set up the child for success. If a child does not comply, keep your word, which is your best parenting tool, as it establishes consistency and predictability.

Consequences and rewards should be decided on before the moment so you all know what to expect in times of desired behaviour, and problematic moments.

  • Keeping Firm on the Rewards and Consequences

The rewards and consequences system should be followed without leniency so the kid gets accustomed to it. It should also be followed for an extended period.

Parent Training At Home

Doing the following changes at home will help the kid with ADHD better their life.

  • Make an Organized Time Table

Make an organized timetable for the children to follow. However, this does not work for every child, so be flexible if you find this only creates more problems. Sometimes, parents think this means scheduling every minute of the day. Children also need downtime where there is no plan, and their mind are free to explore and create.

  • Establish Family Rules

Establishing family rules and resulting consequences, as well as sticking to the rules, helps to create consistency, which leads to proactive behaviours. But choose rules that are realistic and fit your families values, not rules that are trying to control behaviours.

  • Rewards

You should reward them whenever they achieve a task without messing up and praise them for performing the functions promptly.

  • Natural Consequences

Children should know that being unable to complete the task timely will lead to natural consequences. The consequence should be immediate. For example, if a child has yet to do his homework on time, they won’t be allowed to play games.

  • Perform Activities with Your Child

Occasionally, perform activities with your child. Take them on a trip, go camping, or take them to their favourite place. Doing so will be excellent for both you and your child, and they will feel that they are getting proper attention from your side. Play is very helpful for growing happy children.

Child With ADHD

Help At School

The teacher also plays a vital role in the child’s behavioural therapy and should consider giving the child special attention often.

  • Engage in more one-on-one conversations with the children to show you care about their needs.
  • Clear instructions about the task should be provided to the child, who should be asked to repeat them to determine whether they grasped them. If a child still does not understand, adults should be curious about alternate challenges to learning and not assume the child is defiant.
  • After a certain period, a child should be given a five-minute break every forty minutes, allowing the child to rest.
  • The daily tasks should be organized and follow the same pattern so the child knows what is coming, and the child should be foretold before any schedule change.
  • Small goals should be set for the kid, and when they achieve them, they should be praised to boost their confidence and self-esteem.
  • In group activities, the child should be placed in small groups instead of large ones.

Benefits of Counselling for kid with ADHD

Counselling has numerous benefits for kids with ADHD. Some of these are:

  • It helps the kid have better social skills.
  • It has no side effects medication causes, such as sleeplessness, loss of appetite, etc.
  • Reduction of impulsive actions.
  • Teach kids new skills, such as proper breathing.
  • Help the kid become more organized and perform everyday tasks.

What Should You Look for While Choosing a Counselling Centre for ADHD?

When choosing a counselling centre for ADHD, consider the following points:

  • Whether the therapists there have successful experience with ADHD patients before or have specialized certification in dealing with ADHD patients.
  • They are willing to develop strategies with parents to help with parent training,
  • They are willing to improvise the strategy if anything could be improved.
  • They give the kids proper attention to help them deal with ADHD.
  • They are giving you a proper schedule for weekly appointments.


A good counselling centre will support desired behaviours and a positive self-esteem in your child with ADHD. A good centre and a great therapist can make all the difference.

At Boomerang Counselling Centre, we have a team of therapists who are highly skilled and experienced both personally and professionally in working with children, families, and ADHD. Book a consultation here with one or more of our therapists to find the best fit for you and your child.


[i] Liu, P., Qiu, S., Lo, H. H. M., Song, X., & Qian, Q. (2021). Applying the mindful parenting program among Chinese parents of children with ADHD: A randomized control trial. Mindfulness12, 1473-1489.

[ii] Frick, M. A., Hesser, H., & Sonuga-Barke, E. (2023). Pervasive versus situational childhood ADHD: latent classes and their clinical characteristics, based on parent and teacher ratings in a large longitudinal population sample. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1-14.

[iii] Faraone, S. V., & Larsson, H. (2019). Genetics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Molecular psychiatry24(4), 562–575.



We specialize in a variety of neurodiversity, behavioural, anxiety, attention, learning, social, and emotional problems. We also provide family support through parent coaching, counselling, and reunification.