Reply To: Emotional Outbursts — Help!

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I had twin girls on November 6, 1985. Not only were they premature but later I realized they were ADHD. Emotions were the big thing around our house. Little things could set them off. Before they came home from Neonatal care one of my girls would keep the nurses up at night because she would cry and fuss around midnight. Nurses teased me that she would be keeping me up at night. Well they were right. She is the most immature of the two but there are days it went back and forth. It is very true that I had to learn to not get upset or over-react when they were upset. I always told myself that it is not me. I need to help them and figure out what will help in what I say and do. I also started to talk to them and tried to reason with them when they were calmed down. I also sought counseling for them when they were entering school age because I felt overwhelmed with having two at the same time in dealing with certain issues. What might work for one did not always work for the other. I also felt manipulated so I needed to also talk to other about what to do. Took parenting classes for normal kids and for kids with ADHD. I managed to get a real perspective on what I was going through and which was which. That way I knew when they were normal and when they were acting out because of their ADHD. I should mention these are my first children and the only ones I ever had. Too busy with them to think about having more. They are now 32 years old and are still dealing with their emotions but it is different with them being adults. They now understand better and will call a lot to talk to me about certain things to get another perspective. ADHD and helping chidren deal with their emotions is complex because you are not always sure what they are really angry about. Is it because of frustration or is it because someone might have said something. Or they feel like a failure because they are struggling in school or kids are making fun of them because they are constantly interrupting others. It can be very complex and while they are young they are not always able to process information to understand. Helping them sort out their thought and know that you are giving them support helps. I do remember that the girls would yell at me not so much at their dad. I had to remain calm and let them get out what they needed to say and than help them with what they needed. Once calmed down I did say that they need to talk to me more calmly instead of taking their frustration out on me. This was more challenging but they did learn and did learn to do so.

I hope this helps, Rubie