How to Use Positive Reinforcement to Improve Time Management Skills in Children with ADHD

ADHD can make time management challenging. Positive reinforcement builds these skills.

What is positive reinforcement?

  • Giving rewards or praise immediately after desired behaviors to increase them.

Use reward systems

  • Give points, tokens, or treats for behaviors like:
  • Completing tasks by set deadlines
  • Arriving on time to places
  • Following schedules and routines
  • Let points or tokens be traded for prizes, activities, or privileges

Give praise

  • Praise verbally when they manage time well. Be specific.
  • “Great job finishing your homework before dinner!”
  • Shows you notice their effort.

Try visual charts

  • Break big goals into smaller steps.
  • Mark progress with stickers as each step is achieved.
  • Earn bigger rewards when chart is filled.

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful: ADHD Resources

Model time management

  • Demonstrate habits like using planners and setting phone alerts.
  • Narrate your thinking process for managing tasks and priorities.

Practice together

  • Guide child through making and using schedules and checklists.
  • Play games that require waiting turns to teach patience.

Stay consistent

  • It takes time to develop new habits. Use strategies persistently.
  • Celebrate small successes to keep motivation high.

Why it works

  • Rewards and praise make kids repeat positive time management behaviors.
  • Accomplishing goals boosts their confidence and skills.


  • Reward systems, praise, charts, and modeling can improve time management.
  • Consistent positive feedback develops good habits over time.
  • Breaking goals into smaller steps makes them more achievable.
  • Patience and celebration of each victory is key.

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Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful: ADHD Resources