Dealing with outbursts
Dealing with an angry outburst can prove challenging for parents/carers and teachers of children with ADHD.You can open the tool to help you:
- Think through how you normally react when the child with ADHD is angry
- Consider what works, and new approaches.
It can be important to look at strategies for dealing with angry outbursts that involve the whole family. No matter how much the family loves the child, having a child with ADHD can put relationships under strain. You can open the tool to help you think about:
- How the family deals with day-to-day anger with a child with ADHD
- What you can do to help the family deal with outbursts.
Children with ADHD can find it hard to talk about their feelings, and they may appear emotionally younger than their peers. The mood thermometer can help the child to show you:
- How they are feeling
- What is making them feel this way.
Coping with anger
An angry outburst involves many different things:
- The way we communicate anger to others
- The effect of anger on others.
You can open the tool to help you think about:
- The effect the child’s anger has on you
- What you can do to deal with your own feelings when confronted by the child.
It can be particularly hard for children with ADHD to understand and express their feelings, which in turn can lead to anger and frustration. You can print out this tool to help you:
- Think about how you encourage a specific child to share their feelings
- Identify things you can do that may help.
It may help to use simple tools to help a child express their feelings, and encourage them to talk about how they feel. You can use this simple word search tool to:
- Introduce the subject of feelings
- Discuss how they feel at the moment, and why.
If the child is not comfortable with doing a word search, there are many picture searches available on the internet, which use pictures instead to show the different feelings. Try searching for images of these charts using terms like 'Children’s feelings'.
It is also important to identify any challenging times in the child’s day, so that you can talk about what may be worrying them in their home and school life.
You can use this simple chart to:
- Talk with the child about how they feel in different day-to-day situations at school
- Talk about what makes them happy, sad, or angry during their day at home or school.
Identifying warning signs
Helping a child to understand the triggers of challenging behaviour can be the first step to enabling them to manage their feelings and approach situations calmly.
Help them understand that everyone gets angry at times.
Help them to recognise their own early warning signs that they are getting angry, for example:
Help them to act on these early warning signs, for example
Spotting your own anger warning signs
You can print out this tool to use together with a child to:
- Help them think and talk about what it feels like when they start to get angry
- Help them to recognise earlier when they are becoming angry.
Many parents of children with ADHD become very skilled at avoiding situations that they know will present challenges, and calming situations down when unexpected problems occur.
You can use this short tool to:
- Think about common types of situations that children with ADHD find particularly challenging
- Identify things you can do to prevent the problem, or reduce its impact.