Reply To: Need support: sad 8 year old daughter

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Penny Williams

It would take several books to explain how to fully support her, but I can tell you how to get started.

#1 – Work on your parent mindset. You, the parent, have to change, not the child. She is working with a different brain, a brain that traditional “crime and punishment” parenting doesn’t work for. Yes, of course she needs to build skills and coping strategies and self-regulation, and we will get to that. BUT, the most important and foundational piece is to get your mind right for parenting this child.

#2 – Work to understand the ADHD brain. Google things like “amygdala hijack” and “rumble rage cycle.” Use tools like 1-2-3 Magic and The Incredible 5-Point Scale. This really helps with the understanding too:

#3 – Practice mindful parenting and work on staying calm and patient. When your daughter is having outbursts, she’s having a hard time, not giving you a hard time. Her emotions have likely escalated outside of her physical control (Amygdala Hijack). She’s on fire and mirroring the intensity by yelling, judging, or snapping back is just adding fuel to the fire. It will ONLY make things worse.

If you haven’t, read Ross Greene’s “The Explosive Child” or “Raising Human Beings” right way.

Time for Plan B? 10 Tips for Dealing with an Explosive Child

(for all kids, not just explosive kids)

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism