ADDHelpline is your ADD Information Source
Search Our Site
Online ADD Tests
Adults With ADD
Parenting Teens With ADHD
Articles and Information
Medication Fact Sheets
ADHD In Preschool
ADHD In The News
Special Needs Store
Take A Break
If you are interested in learning more
about how you can receive EEG Neurotherapy right in your home, using your own
computer, enter your email address below.
Steven Richfield provides articles on many different aspects of raising a child
month we our advocate will be answering questions from our visitors about yours
and your children's rights in the educational system.
A mother is trying to help her teenage son learn anger management.
Five great ideas for motivation, including The Shoe Race, Trading Places
Organize your child at home, and maybe find some tips that will help you
IN THE NEWS
Headlines about ADHD, Learning Disability and Mental Disorders
Study on ADD and TV
The recent study published on watching television between the ages of one and
three and the possible link to ADD/ADHD did not take many considerations into
account. The author of the study even admits that he cannot conclude that
television watching and ADD/ADHD are linked.
Parent Coach Archives
Parent Coach: Dealing With Your Children's Issues
A parent writes, "I can't figure out my son. He's so unpredictable;
sometimes when things don't go his way, he takes it in stride. Other
times he falls apart over the same situation. I try to talk to him about
it later but that leads nowhere. What's going on and what can I do about
Situations that trigger strong emotional reactions in children sometimes
serve to uncork accumulated feelings. To an observer, the intensity of
these feelings appears very disproportionate to the event. To a parent,
their child's reactions are confusing and bothersome. These
"release valve reactions" occur when outside conditions,
internal states, and foundation issues make for a combustible
Foundation issues are to children as hot buttons are to adults. They
represent the underlying reasons for the bottleneck of feelings,
although it may be difficult to pinpoint the linkage between the issue
and the event. A child's acute awareness of criticism, interpretation of
events through the lens of jealousy, or the arbitrary assignment of
self-blame are examples of such bedrock issues that contain anger,
upset, or other painful feelings.
Children are more susceptible to acting out these feelings when they are
at home, since this serves as their "safety zone" where they
don't fear embarrassment. Consider the following coaching points when
approaching your child about their issues:
"All of us have issues, especially adults, since we've had more
time than kids to grow into them." This statement opens up
discussion without pointing fingers. By offering examples of our own
issues, you can make what is usually a very touchy subject a humorous
and intriguing one. Perhaps you were bullied or excessively teased as a
child by an older sibling. If so, this may have left you rather reactive
to incidents touching upon this raw nerve. Explain how this issue lurks
in the background of your personality just as other
issues do so in them. Reveal how the bully issue makes it hard for you
to think clearly in certain situations since you get trapped in old
feelings. Jumping to conclusions, misinterpretations, and narrowed
thinking are some of the resulting problems that set the stage for
trouble, in adults and children.
Use the STOP (Situation - Trap - Outcome - Plan to Prevent) format to
process issues-based incidents. Processing is akin to "rewinding
the tape" of what happened so that you and your child can calmly
review the sequence of events. It begins by describing the situation in
all of it's elements, i.e., child's expectations, people present, exact
words spoken, etc. Next is a frank discussion of the entangling issue,
i.e., sibling rivalry, rejection perceptions, sensitivity to criticism,
etc. The outcome, such as punishment
or social embarrassment, is then identified. Finally, children can plan
to be on the look out for those situations where their issues are
triggered. Review past circumstances where your child was trapped.
The prevention of future troubles is aided by preparation, management,
and processing. You can prepare your child for improved coping by
speaking beforehand about what is likely to happen in a given situation.
Rehearsal of "self-talk" strategies is the next coaching task.
These are brief, pointed mental scripts that children can tell
themselves when they face emotionally
challenging situations. Statements such as "Don't take the
bait," "I can't always get it right," or "It's
someone else's turn," help them manage the stirred up feelings.
Issues management can also be fostered by rehearsing situations with
your child so that they can practice these silent self-control
strategies. Afterwards, process your child's experience by reviewing how
well they coped with their issues.
Be patient, it requires a lot of practice for your child to learn
objectivity when their issues are triggered. As most adults already
know, it is very difficult to desensitize oneself from our issues.
Children have even more trouble. It's easy for them to get caught up in
thinking that another person intended for them to feel the way they do.
Gently point out that the "feelings effect" of what happened
is not always the intention of the people involved in the incident.
Dr. Steven Richfield is a child psychologist in Plymouth Meeting. His
column appears monthly. He can be contacted at 610-275-0178 or at: email@example.com