Trying to deal with your child’s ADHD meltdown can leave you feeling powerless and overwhelmed. The situation can quickly escalate to a level that feels way beyond your control. Having some quick, easy tips and calming techniques can help you navigate through the situation when it happens.
Here are some ideas for the next time your child loses his or her cool:
1. Acknowledge your child’s emotions
Let your child know you understand what they are going through. In a calm voice, you can say something along the lines of, “I know you’re disappointed that you didn’t get the treat you wanted” or “I can see that you’re upset because your friends didn’t ask you to play.” Let them know that their feelings make sense and that you are aware of what they’re experiencing.
2. Encourage a physical outlet for the emotions
Emotions can be overwhelming for everyone. Providing your child with a safe physical outlet can ease off a lot of the intensity of what they’re feeling.
If you’re at home during a meltdown, you can ask your child to punch a pillow, squeeze a ball, or rip up newspapers.
Another great resource is the glitter bottle. Aside from being a great DIY project for a rainy or snowy day, during a meltdown, you can have your kid shake the bottle as hard as they’d like, and then watch the glitter in the water. The physical act of shaking, along with the enticing sparkles, can help your child recenter their focus and diffuse their emotions.
3. Encourage deep breaths.
Teaching your child to use breathing techniques to calm down can offer amazing pay-off.
During a meltdown, guide your child through taking deep breaths. Belly breathing especially can be effective and relaxing for anyone going through frustration and anxiety, whatever the age.
4. Don’t engage. When your child is acting out in anger, try not to react or show any interest. If you feel the situation is safe, you can say, “This situation is getting out of control. Let’s both take a step back and go into separate rooms to try and calm down. We can come back here in a few minutes.” This presents a clear and stress-free escape plan for both you and your child.
5. Set rules for meltdowns. Be consistent. During a meltdown, enforce the rules and consequences that you explained to your child earlier on.
Reach out for help today
Most importantly, remember that your chid’s meltdown is not a reflection of your parenting. It is an issue of emotional dysregulation, and nothing else.
For ADHD therapy in or near Los Angeles that is effective and enjoyable, give me a call at (818)210-5070. Or you can fill out the contact form and click Send to request a free 15-minute phone consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.