How ADHD Children Can Control Emotions

When children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) practice controlling their emotions and impulsive outbursts, they will be healthier and happier at school and home.

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Improving Emotional Control bananastock/thinkstock

Controlling emotions, or emotional control, is the ability to manage emotions in order to achieve goals, complete tasks, or direct behavior. A young child who has this skill can recover from a disappointment -- a low grade on a math test -- in short time. A teenager can manage anxiety over taking a test and perform well. Some kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) handle their emotions just fine, others don’t. Empathy works well with all these children. Parents and teachers can say, “This is frustrating for you, isn’t it?” or “It gets to you when teachers (or parents) don’t understand how hard you’re working to control your feelings, doesn’t it?”

Control Emotions in the Classroom

Avoid problem situations. Don’t place a child with ADD/ADHD next to someone who knows how to push his buttons. If a child gets upset with open-ended assignments, quickly help her get started so she doesn’t have time to feel frustrated.

Give the child a plan for handling problem situations. “When you don’t understand an assignment, I want you to raise your hand and say, ‘I think I need a little help to get me started on this.’”

Next: Control Emotions at School
Practice Emotional Control at Home

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