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6 Healthy Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Meltdowns

When your child dissolves into tears or an angry fit, it’s natural to feel powerless and respond harshly. Instead, employ the ADHD-friendly strategies in this video to stop a meltdown in its tracks.

ADHD meltdowns are more than just an angry outburst. The tears, flailing limbs, and irrationality are enough to make you wish you had never left the house.

You feel like a failure, and see the judgment in other parents’ eyes. In reality, meltdowns say nothing about your parenting ability. They reflect the nature of ADHD.

But that can be hard to remember that in the heat of the crying, yelling moment. In this video, arm yourself with six quick fixes for your child’s next epic tantrum.

6 Healthy Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Meltdowns

When your child dissolves into tears or an angry fit, it’s natural to feel powerless and respond harshly.

Instead, employ these ADHD-friendly strategies to stop the meltdown in its tracks.

1. Plan for runaway emotions.

Before leaving the house, ask your child what would calm him down if he gets upset.

If he does have an episode, you have a child-approved game plan.

2. Acknowledge her anguish.

Let your child know you hear her and empathize with her feelings.

Say, “I know you’re angry that you couldn’t find that toy.”

Ask your child to rate her anger on a scale of 1 to 10 so you know the severity of the problem.

3. Snuff out emotion.

Tell him: Imagine there is a candle painted on your palm. Now, gently blow out the flame.

Deep breathing can settle out-of-control children.

4. Get physical.

Ripping up newspapers or squeezing a ball can short-circuit a meltdown.

Give your child something else to do with the emotions.

5. Press the right button.

Have your child pretend she is holding a remote control.

Ask her to press the button that turns down emotions.

6. Ask for help.

If your child has frequent meltdowns that aren’t responsive to interventions, work with an ADHD professional.

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