Helping ADHD Kids Who Hit

9 ways to help children with ADD rein in aggression and keep their hands to themselves.


Filed Under: ADHD and Anger, ADHD and Discipline, ADHD Kids Making Friends,

Be Calm and Understanding

ADDitude Magazine

Control your emotions. It’s not easy to stay calm when your ADHD child has just punched a playmate for the umpteenth time. But do your best. The next time your child lashes out, discipline her by demonstrating appropriate behavior by speaking calmly, but firmly, rather than by shouting (or spanking).

Try empathy. Let your child know that you understand how hard it is to control aggression. Once she calms down, say something like, “You seemed to be angry because your friend won the game” or, “I know you get angry when other children tease you, but hitting will only hurt your friendships.” Listen carefully to what she says in response, so you can provide support.

Ask for suggestions. Telling your child to say, “Stop it, you’re bothering me” may not do the trick. In emotionally charged situations, ADD kids have trouble recalling phrases like that. Instead, ask your child what he thinks he can do to rein in his aggression when something bothers him.

Next: Acknowledge Good and Bad Behavior


This article comes from the Winter 2009 issue of ADDitude.

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