ADHD and Emotion Regulation:
Emotion regulation is our ability to provide adequate control over emotional responses. While difficulty with emotion regulation is not a symptoms of ADHD, individuals with ADHD tend to get flooded or overwhelmed with emotions. Strong and intense reactions can sometimes have positive consequences, such as getting really excited about a family trip, but these reactions can also make getting through the day a challenge.
Emotion regulation is a skill that can be learned, often with the help of parents or other adults. Here are some strategies that may help at home or at school:
- Provide as much consistency as possible. Regular mealtimes and sleep schedules are essential for children’s emotional and physical development.
- Talk about your feelings when appropriate.
- Encourage your children to talk about their feelings. Label your child’s feelings and discuss emotions as they arise in books or television shows.
- Model emotion regulation. What strategies do you use when you are feeling frustrated or worried?
- Practice deep breathing. This is a tool that the whole family can practice and it can be used anywhere!
If you are looking for more support, psychotherapy using collaborative problem solving or cognitive behaviour therapy may help your child and family.
What is Collaborative Problem Solving?
Collaborative Problem Solving (also known as Collaborative Proactive Solutions or CPS) is an effective, evidence-based treatment for children with disruptive behaviours such as ADHD and their families. This approach was developed by Dr. Ross Greene and one of the key messages is, “Kids do well when they can.” Using this approach, adults work with children to uncover which skills the child is lacking, the situations where there are expectations that exceed the child’s skill set, and how to support the child to develop skills in the areas they are lacking and solve problems.
For more information on CPS, visit http://www.livesinthebalance.org or contact The Possibilities Clinic at (416) 482-5558.
What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?
Up to 30% of children with ADHD will also have an anxiety disorder. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is an effective, evidence-based treatment for anxiety. A key principal of CBT is that by challenging negative thoughts about a situation, we can change our behaviour, and our feelings. By learning about anxiety, becoming aware of the types of thoughts one has in a given situation, and by gradually facing fears, individuals can become less anxious.
For more information on CBT, visit www.anxietybc.com or contact The Possibilities Clinic at (416) 482-5558.