My ADD/ADHD Child Gets Upset and Angry

Published: 17th June 2010
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A common problem parents of ADD/ADHD kids is how easily their child gets upset and angry. There are some ways to reduce the severity and control your child's frustration and anger.

One of the reasons why your child is having so much difficulty with his or her emotions is due to the fact that he or she can't rationalize his or her experiences. It is important for you to help your child develop problem-solving skills so that he or she can use words to recognize and deal with the problem rather than simply reacting. First, you should have your child identify the problem. Once your child can do this, have your child create a plan to solve the problem. Suggest to your child that any problem can be fixed by a teacher, Mom, Dad, or another relative. Your child must realize that he or she is not alone and that there is always help. Finally, have your child carry out a plan to solve the problem (there is a problem-solving form at the end of this book that your child can use).

This can all be accomplished by some planning on your behalf as well. It would be a great idea, if you know that your child easily gets angry or upset, to brainstorm possible problems at school and at home, and think of a plan of action for each. This will give your child comfort and security by knowing that he or she is not alone and that there are possible solutions.

You can also teach your child some self control techniques such as breathing and counting to ten, taking a walk, squeezing a hand grip, or seeking immediate help.

Also, you might want to discuss with your child the natural consequences of losing control of one's emotions. That is, other kids may not want to play with your child and/or other people won't want to be in your child's company.

Also, if you are watching a movie or television show with your child and notice a character getting upset or angry, point it out to your child. Ask your child what he thinks about the character's behavior. What can your child suggest that the character do (i.e. solutions) instead of getting upset?

Sometimes it's hard to see our own behaviors. You may even wish to take a video of your child when he or she easily gets upset or angry. Later on, another day, when your child is in a good mood, show your child the video and have your child verbalize his or her thoughts about his or her actions.

Other ideas to consider:

Know your child's triggers and make your child aware of them as well. If your child knows what triggers his anger, he can then use some self control techniques that you taught him.

Create a reward/consequence system. This may motivate your child to 'want' to change his or her behavior.

Teach your child to verbalize his or her feelings during happy times. By doing so, you may create a habit of verbalizing emotions which will help during angry or upset times.

Have your child do some role playing. Present various situations whereby your child can 'practice' reacting appropriately.

Try to follow these suggestions in order to help your ADD/ADHD child.

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