No More Drama!


When I ask my 10-year-old son, who has ADHD, to do something that he doesn't want to do, he complains and whines. I talk to him calmly, but what else can I do to avoid meltdowns?


A display of dramatics is not exclusive to ADHD children, but the condition can make meltdowns more extreme and more frequent". To reduce the number and severity of his "scenes, try these strategies:

  • Positive self-talk to enable him to develop self-control ("I can handle this and work something out with Mom or Dad.")
  • Keep a diary of his moments of discontent, along with potential solutions when he has to face them again.

Parents can anticipate situations that make meltdowns more likely. Don't agree to an activity until you have a plan to avoid trouble spots. Say, "I know you won't want to leave your friend's house at the end of the visit, so what would help you leave on a happy note?"

Dr. Carol Brady is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas. She is also a specialist in school psychology and a well-regarded speaker in the areas of ADHD, children, and families in trauma and Tourette's Syndrome.

She received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and she is currently on the scientific advisory board for the Tourette's Syndrome Association and is an adjunct faculty at Baylor University and the University of Texas. Dr. Brady hopes to help children and families who deal with neurological/developmental disorders by serving as a regular columnist for ADDitude magazine.

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