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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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2.16 Managing Your Child's Difficulty with Emotional Control

Children with ADHD are delayed in their development of self-regulation, including emotional control. You can expect that your child may have much more difficulty than other children coping with frustration and anger. Parents can help their child through preventive measures and strategies to avoid escalating emotions into full-blown meltdowns.

Prevention Strategies

  • Know your child's triggers—the situations and conditions that typically lead to frustration, anxiety, overstimulation, and anger (List 2.11). Then take steps to remove or minimize these triggers. Make adjustments as needed in the task demand, environment, or expectation, for example:
    • Shorten tasks or break them into a series of manageable steps.
    • Provide more support with chores, homework, or other tedious tasks (List 4.9).
    • Help your child with organization and time management (Lists 4.5, 4.7).
    • Add more structure and visual cues at home (List 2.3).
    • Communicate positively and effectively with your child (List 2.4).
    • Avoid situations in which your child is expected to sit quietly for any length of time or otherwise tax his or her limits of self-control.
    • Prepare your child for changes of routine
    • Employ all of the proactive strategies to prevent problem behavior at home and outside of the home (Lists 2.2, 2.6).
    • Ensure that your child has the school accommodations that address his or her areas of difficulty—minimize his or her stress and frustration. Homework accommodations ...

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