You hoped your child's tantrums would fade once she started elementary school. You hoped she'd be able to share. You hoped she'd be calm and happy after wearing herself out at recess…instead, her energy bubbles out all over the classroom.

No matter how often you remind your teen: "look at me when I'm speaking," "respect others' personal space," "quit freaking out over everything!" he just doesn't seem to understand. For most kids, these are momentary glitches. For some, learning to relate to others doesn't come easily.

When children have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), even if their medication smooths out the worst of the bumps, they still may have a lot of trouble in social situations like school.

Teaching Life Skills to Children and Teens With ADHD describes the Life Skills Program created by author Vincent J. Monastra at his ADHD clinic. It features practical strategies for helping children and teens develop essential life skills at home, school, or in a support group setting.

Some of these skills include:

  • Engaging others in conversations
  • Seeking out confidence-building experiences
  • Responding appropriately to teasing
  • Establishing friendships and social networks
  • Trying group activities to avoid isolation
  • Developing healthy eating, sleeping and exercise habits
  • Solving problems and getting organized
  • Showing sensitivity to others' emotions

Each chapter includes exercises to help you teach, model, and guide your child in trying out these skills. Interactive checklists, quizzes, and guided journal entries are provided as tools for reflection and for engaging children and teens in ways that are interesting and fun.

Table of Contents


  • Life Lesson 1. Succeeding in Life Isn't Easy, but It Starts Out Simple: Eat, Sleep, and Exercise
  • Life Lesson 2. Making Yourself Heard by Staying Calm
  • Life Lesson 3. Getting What You Want in Life Without Getting Into Trouble
  • Life Lesson 4. Being Confident, Part 1: Master Something That Matters to Your Peers
  • Life Lesson 5. Being Confident, Part 2: Face Your Fears
  • Life Lesson 6. Finding Out What Others Like to Talk About
  • Life Lesson 7. Sometimes Making Faces Can Be a Good Idea
  • Life Lesson 8. Ignoring Teasing Will Not Make It Go Away
  • Life Lesson 9. Every Day, Find Ways to Show Appreciation
  • Life Lesson 10. Kindness Is Contagious
  • Life Lesson 11. Organization Is Not a Four-Letter Word!
  • Life Lesson 12. Persistence Pays Off

Final Thoughts: A Personal Perspective

Supplemental Resources


About the Author

About the Cartoonists

Author Bio

Vincent J. Monastra, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and director of the FPI Attention Disorders Clinic in Endicott, New York.

During the past 25 years, he has conducted a series of studies involving thousands of individuals with disorders of attention and behavioral control. He is the coinventor of a quantitative electroencephalographic (QEEG) process that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a pioneer in the development of parenting and EEG-based attention training procedures, and the author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters.

The first edition of his book Parenting Children With ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (2005) was named Parenting Book of the Year by IParenting, and his book Unlocking the Potential of Patients With ADHD: A Model for Clinical Practice (2008) provides a model for comprehensive, effective, and practical community-based care for patients with ADHD. His skills as a master diagnostician and therapist have been internationally recognized and are archived in several educational videotaped programs, including Working With Children With ADHD (2005).

He has been a faculty member of Wilson Hospital's Family Practice Residency Program; the Department of Psychology at Binghamton University; and, most recently, the Graduate School of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Marywood University.

Dr. Monastra is the recipient of several scientific awards, including the President's Award and the Hans Berger Award from the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback for his seminal research into the neurophysiological characteristics of ADHD and his groundbreaking study on EEG biofeedback. He was listed among the country's most innovative researchers in the Reader's Digest 2004 edition of "Medical Breakthroughs."

Dr. Monastra can be contacted at his website Dr. Vincent J. Monastra or by email.

Reviews & Awards

This publication is very helpful as it focuses on issues beyond the consultation room, classroom or home. The author's premise is that treatment of ADHD needs to go beyond the symptoms to what skills we want our kids to learn. This book addresses the importance of life skill development and provides a workbook-like format to help kids attain these skills.
New England Psychologist

Monastra has made an important contribution that is a self-help book for parents, as a supplement to therapy, and a resource for counselors. This positive and proactive presentation can guide parents whose children have few problems to those who have numerous problems, in a forthright yet understanding manner, a highly desirable combination.