Reply To: Emotional Distance

Penny Williams

Detaching emotionally is exactly what I teach parents to do to handle outbursts and meltdowns. And it’s a good strategy. You’re not disconnecting emotionally from your child, you’re disconnecting from the hurtful things they’re saying that they don’t even mean, and you’re disconnecting from the emotional intensity. That’s important because, if you match your child’s emotional intensity, it will only escalate the situation, and prolong it.

Remember, in these challenging situations, you’re child is having a hard time, not giving you a hard time. Reminding yourself of that helps you detach when appropriate as well.

Again, you’re not detaching emotionally from your child, you’re detaching from his intensity at certain times.

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism