ADHD and Mood Swings: What You Need to Know

Ask what’s going on, and empathize. It’s important to show empathy to your child and tell him it’s okay to feel the way he’s feeling. At the same time, you can show him that talking about what’s bothering him allows him to get it out and move on before his negative feelings grow.

You can say something like, “Did something happen to make you become so down on yourself? If he tells you, show him empathy by saying, “That would make me feel embarrassed, too.” You can even swap stories about when similar things happened to you.

Just know that your child may not be ready to talk about it, and it’s important to respect that. Give him room to back away from it for a while if he needs to.

Share your feelings about his behavior. You may worry about making him feel guilty or ashamed. But it’s important for your child to know how his moods affect other people—including you. You can say something like, “I’m feeling irritated by how you’re behaving. Did something happen that’s making you feel mad?”

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