As ADHD specialists, at Woodburn Pediatrics we understand that managing anger in ADHD children can be a daily struggle. Excessive anger is one of the most common symptoms of ADHD in children and is also one of the most difficult to understand. We’ve compiled the most effective strategies for working through episodes of anger and preventing them from happening in the future.
Model Healthy Anger Management
Kids learn by observation and as a result, can quickly adopt unhealthy behaviors that older siblings and parents display. If you aren’t already modeling effective anger management strategies, now is the time to kick bad habits.
Each time your child starts to feel angry, immediately redirect their behavior towards communicating their feelings. ADHD in children can produce symptoms such as brain fog and inability to pay attention that make successful communication a difficult task. Ask your child questions about how they feel and listen attentively to help them vocalize their emotions in a positive way.
Teach Coping Strategies
Children with ADHD can benefit from having a personalized emotional coping chart that encourages them to pick an acceptable strategy as soon as they feel angry. Asking for help, taking deep breaths and punching a pillow are all healthy alternative reactions to anger that can be included on an emotional coping chart. By building coping skills at a young age, you can reduce your child’s angry outbursts and other negative behaviors in the future.
Encourage Social Interaction
Healthy social interaction such as spending time with friends or participating in sports can reduce anger. Kids that spend more time alone engaging in self-stimulatory behaviors such as playing video games are more likely to experience outbursts.
Lookout for Triggers
Bouts of anger in ADHD children aren’t random. They are typically triggered by a specific event within the home setting, at school or out in public. Triggers can vary greatly since all children are unique, but can be tracked and monitored. Be on the lookout for your child’s triggers so you can prevent them in the future.
Managing ADHD isn’t easy, but we’re here to help you get your child on track for healthy anger management skills. Our video resources can help guide you through the management of your child’s ADHD. You can also contact us today to schedule an appointment!