Are your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) child’s angry outbursts -- about homework, making friends, your family, the world -- ringing in your ears? Have arguments and shouting kept you up nights, asking: Where is this anger coming from, and how can I help him deal with it? Here are two strategies that work.
The first natural remedy is exercise. Physical activity takes your child’s mind off the causes of his anger, while increasing neurotransmitters in the brain that support wellbeing. Your fuse isn’t quite as short after you’ve broken a sweat. Playing a team sport, or taking a martial arts or a boxing class, offers an additional benefit: A child may connect with a new role model -- his coach or sensei.
Much less talked about is teaching a child to use words to manage anger. Language plays a pivotal role in defusing rage. When you use words, you have to reflect on what you’re feeling rather than lashing out. In a nutshell, words force a child to slow down and think things through. Children who have problems with language act more impulsively and angrily than those who can explain how they feel.
This article comes from the Fall 2010 issue of ADDitude.
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