ADHD and Emotions: What You Need to Know

How You Can Help

When your child is struggling with his feelings, it may seem like there’s no way to get through to him or to stop his behaviors. But there are things you can do to help him get control of and manage his emotions.

Start by acknowledging how he seems to be feeling. “I can see how disappointed you are about coming in second in the science fair.” Don’t argue about whether he should be feeling this way. That usually just escalates the problem.

Once he’s calm, offer to help him figure out some better way to deal with that emotion—one that might help him switch his thinking. For example, you could say:

  • “I know you’re upset and just want to leave the science fair and go home. But I’m proud of what you did.”
  • “I know you worked hard on it and a lot of the people who looked at it seemed impressed. Even though you feel really disappointed about getting second place rather than first, you still have good reason to be proud of what you did.”

If your child often struggles with managing emotions, it can be a good idea to talk with his doctor. You may want to discuss having your child see a counselor, or if there’s ADHD treatment that could help.

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