Parents can be trained too.
One particular technique for parents and their children ages 2 to 7 has helped manage the disruptive behavior that comes with ADHD. It's called Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and the basic premise is that by coaching parents to monitor and reinforce positive behaviors, ignore mild negative ones, and give commands with calm, consistent follow-through, therapists can help moms and dads manage their reactions and teach critical coping skills. During hour-long sessions each week over a period of months, a therapist advises parents on how to interact with their children. Wearing an earpiece, a parent plays with her child while the therapist watches behind a one-way mirror and suggests specific strategies. "The key is to 'catch' your child being good and applaud those strengths," says Dr. Kurtz. (For help finding a PCIT program near you, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)