Expressing Emotions

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    • #91929

      I have a 9 year old son with ODD. We find it very hard to get him to share his emotions or feelings. He often says, “it’s none of your business”, and he can sometimes become aggressive. We feel like he is protecting himself from having to experience his feelings outwardly. Has anyone had a similar situation and how are you managing it?

    • #91970

      Emotional regulation can be tough for kids with mental health issues. However, it’s also true that some people, even kids, just aren’t the feeling type. Which is not to say they don’t have emotion, it’s just to say they lean more heavily on other cognitive functions.

      The best way to help someone recognize and work with their feelings is to point out what you think they are feeling. Asking someone to tell you how they feel is an awkward question for all of us, especially kids. But if you say, “you seem sad right now,” and comfort them with a hug, you’ll really pull it out (assuming they were feeling sad, that is). Notice how my example didn’t offer any preaching about the sadness, and asked no questions about why. It’s best to mind your own business on why unless they offer it unprovoked. You can comfort someone without knowing why they feel what they feel. And, they will be much more likely to share with you when there’s no pressure to do so.

      So, when you notice an emotion, acknowledge it with respect. This mean you’ll have to start with negative emotions since those are the most likely ones to expose themselves. If you see anger, tell him how healthy it is that he’s angry, point out some healthy ways to deal with anger.

    • #92236
      Penny Williams

      I love the Zones of Regulation program to help with emotional awareness and communication. An occupational therapist can work on this too.

      Here’s more on emotions and ADHD:

      7 Truths About ADHD and Intense Emotions

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

    • #98915

      When I was younger I had the hardest time trying to explain my feelings, I didn’t understand what I was feeling and as such couldn’t name the emotions that were inside me. Whenever I tried to explain it wouldn’t come out right and I got frustrated and I’d give up. I started just not talking about it since it was so hard to get other people to understand. Don’t know if that will help, but I hope everything goes okay

    • #99050

      With all due respect, we the parents, like to hover and protect. We’re worse if our child has a diagnosis that put them at risk for being labeled “different”. Remember, he’s a 9 year old boy first. Think about What goes on with boys his age. Could it be there’s a cute girl in his class he’s discovered a feeling that’s “weird”? Remember, girls had koodies once. Could it be that he’s noticing physical changes? Maybe puberty is early for him. Ask yourself how many times a day you ask him how he feels? What’s your tone like? Have you changed how you respond and react since his diagnosis? You are VERY important to him. Taking care of you during this time, is vital.

      I could go on for days but I’ll end with this. He has communicated and has clearly stated how he feels. When I dont’ feel like I”m being heard, I get upset, shut down and raise my voice.

      I’m typing to you with a caring tone and without judgment. Parenting is challenge. Parenting a child with special needs is even more challenging.

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