Looking for some advice for anger and... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Looking for some advice for anger and emotional dysregulation

AndDontHaveDucks profile image
11 Replies

My daughter is too young to get an official diagnosis yet (currently under age accepted) but we are 99% certain she had ADHD and I am also awaiting a diagnosis as an adult.

My daughter struggles with anger and is very quick to temper. This results in screaming, hitting and running away over very small things like being told it is bed time.

We are really struggling to get on top of it and have tried charts, reward jars etc.

Any advice on techniques to try would be amazing!

11 Replies
emers623 profile image

Hey there, so this might not be exactly what you're looking for. But honestly I think you should get her into counseling. Both my 14yr old son and my 8yr old daughter are in counseling and have adhd as well. My daughter has huge meltdowns over little things and will just cry and cry. We just thought she was only having this problems at home but thus year we found out that it's also happening in school as well and it has really made it difficult for her to make friends. But since she has started counseling things have been a lot better and her counselor has given her little "tools"to use to help her when she feels that she is getting overwhelmed. Plus she also gets to have that one on one attention with someone that she can really open up to about evening and not feel embarrassed about the things she's feeling. And honestly so far it has made such a huge difference for both my kids. I truly think that these days everyone should be in counseling as well as kids. It is something that is so simple yet makes such a huge positive impact on their lives. And most places will accept kids as young as 3 or 4, and right now it's pretty cool because most of them also offer it online. My son who is in high school has it set up so that his counselor comes to his school and did it their with him, but my daughter and I both do ours online at home. But also if your insurance won't cover it fully or at all then it would be a good idea to at least call somewhere and see if you could maybe just do an intake with the intentions of only going to be able to get tips from them that you can use at home to help her. I would think that if you explained the financial situation then they'd be able to help you out because most places are sliding scale and even just trying to do it I've time or maybe once a month shows that you're looking out for your child and they would want to be able to help as much as possible. And honestly another thing that might seem insignificant is that maybe she needs to go outside more. It's actually truly surprising how much it helps to improve your mood or anyone's mood by just spending an hour or so a day outside. Even if it's just to go out for a walk and try to make it fun and make a little list of like 5 things you guys could try to find on your walk. Life a big leaf or a bird or maybe a yellow flower. Idk these are just 2 things that I've found that do help dramatically. Sorry if this is so long, lol my adhd brain could probably go on for days about stuff like this. But anyways I hope this helps, best of luck!

Trying1978 profile image
Trying1978 in reply to emers623

Just wanted to quickly chime in about the outside part. I spend any free time I can with my kiddos (2 with ADHD diagnoses & on meds + 1 pretty wild 3 yo) exploring in creeks. It always works to calm everyone down, get everyone into something besides themselves. Not saying it's true for everyone, but that's just what's worked for us! Hang in there!

AndDontHaveDucks profile image
AndDontHaveDucks in reply to emers623

Thank you! Some great ideas for us to try 😊

We get outside a lot and it helps. There is nothing available for her age in terms of counselling in out area, but will definitely look out for similar support!

MaudQ profile image

The early years are hard! Our kid didn’t start medication until she was 8 and wasn’t old enough to get much out of talk therapy until she was 11 or 12. Sticker charts and reward jars didn’t work for us - but she had a teacher who used stickers at school and it worked well. She responded really well to OT (occupational therapy). They worked on strengthening her body but also emotional regulation. For melt downs around bedtime and transitions, in the end, it worked out best to just ride it out in a safe space until the feelings subsided. We also got pretty good ant figuring out how to leave a play date or activity before the meltdown started - or at least before it got too bad. You don’t say what age your kid is. If she’s in school you could start the process of getting a 504 or IEP, if she’s not, you might want to look into early intervention. I also found that keeping myself calm was 80% of the solution. I have (slowly) learned not to force situations that cause unnecessary stress, how to breathe when I’m mad, when to walk away and when to tag out with my husband. Also, you say you might have ADHD yourself. I was just diagnosed and it has helped my relationship with my kid a lot! There’s a lot of informations for adults with ADHD which can actually be more useful (and more compassionate) than the advice for kids. Also, now I understand why I was terrible at sticker charts!

AndDontHaveDucks profile image
AndDontHaveDucks in reply to MaudQ

It’s comforting to know we aren’t alone!

She’s too young for schools to do anything either, but have spoken to her teachers and advised we would like some support from the Special Educational Needs team. Unfortunately, it seems she is a master masker at school.

MaudQ profile image
MaudQ in reply to AndDontHaveDucks

Oh, you are definitely not alone! My kid’s teachers didn’t see it for years - so frustrating and upsetting. Just keep pushing for what you know is right.

GhostOrchid profile image
GhostOrchid in reply to AndDontHaveDucks

I’ve found that my kids aren't necessarily a master masker at school, but the other kids are so much worse the teachers overlook the relatively milder cases. For instance, my daughter was struggling with reading. I asked the school to test her, but they wanted to wait a year. I chose to have her evaluated at a private practice and she was diagnosed with ADHD & Dyslexia. She tested in the 3rd percentile for a lot of the reading tests. Her teachers were shocked because “she is one of out best students”. It is scary to think that our schools are that bad that a 3rd percentile student can be overlooked, but it is true. My daughters IQ is in the 92 percentile which helps mask the ADHD & Dyslexia.

Two things come to mind here. How structured is your daughters time at home? Do you have a set routine? And, how challenged is she? Apparently kids with ADHD tend to thrive in structure and routines, which parents with ADHD sometimes struggle to provide. I don't have a diagnosis--I’m 48 so not sure I need one at this age--but I definitely have ADHD and I suck at providing structured routines. I try all the time, but fail miserably each time.

Also, How old is your daughter?

marinecyan profile image

It’s so hard when they’re young. It’s great that you’re already aware and looking for resources!

My son definitely benefited from socio-emotional therapy although his symptoms of anger and hyperactivity continued to get worse with age. Unlike emers623, my son does not like opening up to therapists so he doesn’t get all the relief he could from therapy.

He’s now on a few supplements and is doing so much better but it got really bad before it got better so I do recommend early intervention. Quite a few supplements are safe for young children and can help with mood regulation. Also, many young children with ADHD symptoms have food intolerances. If you’re interested in a non-medication approach, I highly recommend the book Finally Focused by James Greenblatt.

AndDontHaveDucks profile image
AndDontHaveDucks in reply to marinecyan

Thank you, I will certainly take a look!

It is a shame that a lot of support is only available once they older, but determined to try as much as we can now so we find something that works.

sunsetnb profile image

It is so difficult when they are young and can't self regulate or communicate what may help only that they are frustrated. One thing that helps some of the kiddos I work with is creating or having techniques that as we say help "calm our body". This may be difficult if you don't know exactly what works but weighted blankets/ stuffed animals can help a lot with calming and regulating. I was the same way growing up and one thing that really helped me was creating a toolbox as we called it of skills that calmed me. I do this with my kids too. So having like others mentioned a safe space to calm down, sensory toys, maybe a swing or soft blocks to throw, etc. I know it is so difficult but you are not alone and doing great!! Asking for solutions and seeking support is a great first step that many don't take especially when their kids are young probs to you!! Hang in there 😃

AndDontHaveDucks profile image
AndDontHaveDucks in reply to sunsetnb

That’s such a great idea. We are working towards having a quiet area where she can go to calm down or have a bit of alone time if she feels she needs it, so having a few things like a weighted blanket sound like a great addition to that!

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