Helping Your Child Deal with Anger and Criticism

Children with ADHD are criticized, rejected, and teased so often that they often become defensive and angry when others criticize them. Many children with ADHD also have very short tempers and explosive mood swings that may erupt without warning in social settings and cause them social embarrassment.

How to Help Your Child Keep Her Cool

Practice with your child so she learns how to control her temper. Here are some helpful strategies you can role-play together.

  • Encourage your child to count to ten before reacting or responding to an unkind comment.

  • Encourage your child to stick up for herself and to ask someone to clarify or explain if she thinks their comment was untrue or unfair.

  • Teach your child to use exercise to walk off her anger. Taking a quick walk around the block can help your child chill out.

  • Practice clever comebacks with your child to things she gets teased about frequently.

  • Look for ways to bully-proof your child by eliminating common sources of teasing, such as unusual clothing or hairstyles.

  • Accepting Constructive Criticism

    Children with ADHD are often constantly criticized and rejected and may not be able to distinguish valid, helpful criticism from nasty teasing and bullying. Encourage your child to consider the source when deciding how to respond to criticism. If it comes from a classmate who is usually a bully, your child can probably ignore it. If it comes from a well-meaning teacher or school principal, your child will probably want to listen carefully and heed the advice.

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