Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is commonly perceived to imply an angry or naughty child but in fact as most of us know it is not only far from this, but it also may not really be a problem.
ADHD and anger may show in very different forms than just a child or person presenting as angry or naughty.
Maybe you, as a parent, are angry with the diagnosis of ADHD.
Maybe you feel that you always are getting angry at your child at the things that they do or don’t do in life or to you and the rest of the family.
Maybe your child does have anger issues and they are constantly getting into trouble because of it which is wearing you down.
Like most of us anger can be derived from frustration and I am sure we can all relate to that.
Think about when we get angry, there is probably something you are frustrated about. Maybe the kids aren’t listening to what you are saying after the 5th time you said it, maybe you are tired and you just want to sit in peace and quiet for awhile but the kids are fighting and arguing, maybe you don’t feel that your partner is sharing the workload at home, all of these can cause frustration which in turn can cause anger.
Think about this in the context of our children, they are usually angry because they are frustrated by something. Maybe they don’t understand what they are supposed to do in the classroom or even remember what the teacher asked them to do. Maybe things are not going the way they expected them to go in their own head or maybe there is just quite a lot of noise and activity happening around them and they are becoming overwhelmed and frustrated. From this the emotions start to bubble up and a release has to come which is usually in the form of anger.
The important thing to remember when it comes to anger is to look at where it is coming from and address those issues. Obviously there still has to be consequences to any problems that have arisen due to anger, but we need to help manage the anger as well.
We can do this for ourselves as well. Generally, we are angry because things are not going the way we expect either. Essentially, we have a conflict with our reality.
Here are some tips that may help with managing our anger or our children’s anger:
- When we feel that we are getting frustrated about something take a moment to think, is it this is way because we believe something should go that way? Ask yourself, what will happen if it doesn’t go that way. Most times probably not too much. Obviously, there are instances where things must go a certain way for safety or the law but generally we may be able to slightly adapt to things.
- Take a breath. If you feel anger welling up inside, take a few breaths to calm down. Often just taking 2 or 3 breaths before we respond can help us to rethink our reaction to the event.
- Teach our children how to manage their anger. Do they know what to do if they are feeling angry? Can they walk away, squeeze a stress ball, scream into a pillow or other form of release that we can talk to them about.
- Accept that anger is a part of life. We all get angry about something for some reason or another, it is just a part of life really. What counts is to what extent we get angry and how we manage it. Look into ways to manage the anger and do what works for you. You may have to try a few different ways before you find the one that works for you or your child.
- I know I bang on about meditation all the time, but it has huge benefits to everyone regardless of age. It teaches us to be in the present moment and provides us with skills on how to be calm. Over time your world can change with meditation and you start to become a more resilient person who spends less time in what should be done as opposed to accepting what happens.
Anger is a normal part of human behaviour and teaching ourselves and our children skills to manage it and identify triggers that may form this emotion can be beneficial. Not only to you as a person but the entire family unit. How nice would it be to have a calmer household with less anger outbursts?
If you want to know more about strategies to help with anything ADHD, then why not try an ADHD coach? We can help you to plan and implement strategies that work for you and your family.
Paula is an ADHD coach, parent advocate and author who is passionate about helping families affected by ADHD and changing society’s opinion on ADHD. Paula is available for speaking events also.
If you want more information on how to work with your ADHD child feel free to contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org