One reason that a lot of people visit ADHD Supergirls is to look for an ADHD behavior chart.
Here’s why I’m not really a fan.
Parenting girls with ADHD is incredibly difficult under certain circumstances, and the last thing that girls with ADHD need is to feel like they are bad for being different. Although behavior charts can be helpful for girls with ADHD, it’s important to find the right kind that doesn’t cause shame or anxiety.
The Trouble with ADHD Behavior Charts for Girls
Behavior charts often cause shame and embarrassment for girls who often can’t really control their emotions and reactions.
With my first daughter, before I knew she had ADHD, the struggle was almost constant. We tried just about every form of control and punishment we could think of (much to my deep, deep shame today), but nothing worked.
What was particularly useless for her was traditional behavior charts that are color-coded for green, yellow, or red behavior.
The poor girl would end up in the red zone in the first thirty minutes of the day, and then at that point, if you’re already a “bad” kid or have already “failed” according to the chart, why even bother trying to control your behavior.
So, behavior charts were always a huge flop for us.
Is there a Behavior Chart that Can Work for Girls with ADHD?
Since my early failures being an ADHD girl mom, I’ve learned a lot about raising girls with ADHD.
At least 2 out of 3 of my daughters have it, and I also have undiagnosed ADHD (yay 80’s baby).
I’ve realized that for girls with ADHD, it’s not so much about “good” vs “bad” behavior, but it’s about managing the anxiety and emotions behind the ADHD symptoms that really make a difference.
Dr. Ross Greene is a famous child behavior expert, and he says, “if children can do well, they will.”
I didn’t believe that when my kids were young, but if there is only one important thing you learn in your parenting journey, it is that, especially for kids with ADHD.
Girls with ADHD are not trying to be unruly, scatterbrained, or difficult. They are just trying to navigate the world with a brain that is sending them mixed signals.
The ADHD Behavior Chart We Use in Our ADHD Home
Our behavior chart is not about right things and wrong things, and there is no mention of behavior stoplight levels.
The chart I created helps give girls focus and direction (with tasks like chores and homework), but also allows them to celebrate who they are without apology.
The checklist asks girls to also make sure they are taking care of their mental health in a day and thinking positively about themselves, which is so important for girls with ADHD who usually have very low self-esteem.
Click the link below to get a FREE behavior chart for your ADHD girl!
My daughters really value these checklists, and I hope your girls will too!
We realized that it’s not the behavior that needs to change necessarily, but rather the systems. That’s why our “ADHD behavior chart for home” isn’t really a behavior chart, but more of a checklist that doesn’t shame a girl for her differently-functioning brain!
If you use our checklist and your daughter loves it, we’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!
Do you find that behavior charts don’t really work with your ADHD girls?
What do you think it is about the neurodivergent brain that makes behavior charts a challenge?