What Trouble with Emotion Looks Like

When kids have trouble managing their emotions, it can show up in different ways. Some might be unable to put the brakes on their feelings when they’re angry or stressed about something. Others might struggle to get revved up to do something when they’re feeling bored.

Kids with ADHD, more than most others their age, may also:

·         Be quick to get frustrated by minor annoyances

·         Worry too much or too long about even small things

·         Have trouble calming down when annoyed or angry

·         Feel wounded or take offense at even gentle criticism

·         Feel excessive urgency to get something they want immediately

Consider how that might play out:

You hear your 11-year-old screaming at her younger brother. She comes running to find you and shouts about what he’s done. It turns out he’s made some comments about her hair. She wants you to punish him, and she gets mad when you don’t react. Then she complains all night long about how unfair that is.

Here’s another potential scenario:

Your 15-year-old has a ton of homework. But he doesn’t sit down to do it. Instead, he spends the afternoon texting with friends. You’ve already tried using consequences to try to motivate him to do his work. He just says it’s boring and acts like he doesn’t care. Nothing makes him stop what he’s doing and get moving on the homework.

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