How Do You Lift Your Child’s Spirits?
Children with ADHD often feel things more intensely than their peers. We asked parents how they help their child when she’s feeling upset.
I tell him he is clever and has skills that can’t be taught, so he is ahead of the world already. -Amanda Bolt, Perth, Western Australia
I tell my 9 year old stories about when she was younger and how she used to react to things. Sometimes the stories make her laugh, but, most of all, they give her a boost from seeing how far she’s come. -Margarita, Manila, Philippines
We have a “smiles jar” that we open up when my son is feeling down. In the jar are little notes, each recalling an achievement, a funny memory, or a goal that he reached. We add a note to the jar whenever another happy memory is made. These notes get him thinking about happier times. It’s good for all of us to laugh. -Patricia, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
We give him hugs and snuggles and tell him a few of our favorite things about him. It works almost every time. -Monica, Montana
I help him redirect his focus to something positive, something he’s good at. This reminds him how fantastic he is. -An ADDitude Reader
I tell him that life doesn’t always work out perfectly and to enjoy the good times. -An ADDitude Reader
I schedule one-on-one time to do something simple, like getting ice cream. I tell my child that ADHD does not define him. -Cheryl P., Pleasanton, California
When my son is feeling down, we go for a long walk or to the science museum. Movement and nature always raise his spirits, and as a “science nerd,” he feels like he is with his tribe. -Heidi Z., Aurora, Colorado
I hug her and tell her I love her. Sometimes we do something together that she enjoys, and I compliment her. When all else fails, we make cupcakes. -Wendy, New Mexico
My child needs space and quiet time when she’s down and frustrated. She doesn’t need me to do much except leave her alone and talk later. -Shelly Dubinski, Amherst, Massachusetts
A new toy, a Happy Meal, or a huge hug while whispering, “How did Mama get so lucky with a son like you?” -An ADDitude Reader
I tickle her and tell her a silly story about something that happened to me. That always makes her feel better. -Michaela, Pennsylvania
Updated on May 13, 2021