At La Jolla LearningWorks, we’ve been seeing a lot of families at our learning center in recent months with concerns related to ADHD in their children. They come to us with concerns about homework and grades, but once we get talking, they share stories that go so much deeper: walking on eggshells to avoid arguments, talking with teachers and administration until they’re blue in the face, waiting with anxiety to see if their child will walk out of school cheerful or collapse in sobs when he or she gets in the car. If you’re a parent with a child struggling with ADHD, we know you are also a struggling parent.
Parenting children with ADHD is overwhelming to say the least. But what is so often misunderstood and left unspoken is an aspect of ADHD that can lie at the root of sibling arguments, devastating challenges with friends, uncontrollable tears at school, and outbursts in the classroom: emotional control.
Emotional control is what helps us keep afloat in an ever-changing environment by taking charge of our emotions and developing healthy strategies for managing them.
In the world of educational therapy, like what we do at La Jolla LearningWorks, we connect emotional control to the group of skills we call executive functioning. Healthy emotional control stems from our internal dialogue that guides us to reasonable action. Such as when something or someone causes us upset, instead of yelling or slamming a door, we decide to take a few deep breaths or go for a walk as a better approach to the situation.
For children and teens with ADHD, a lack of emotional control often means unleashing on loved ones when things don’t go their way. Once middle school hits, many emotional control difficulties turn inward as anxiety and depression or outward as aggression.
So what can you do to help?
Understanding that a child or teen with ADHD is likely to have difficulty with emotional control is a huge step towards bringing greater calm to your home. It’s an incredibly important aspect of ADHD to address so children develop healthy habits for their adult lives.
It’s a sad truth that schools have grossly inadequate resources dedicated towards counseling and emotional support for students. Even if your child has an IEP, chances are they aren’t receiving the kind of therapeutic support they need to build their confidence and develop healthy emotional control. If your child has an IEP, advocate for counseling and social skills support and try to get it implemented at least once a week.
We see wondrous results for children with ADHD at La Jolla LearningWorks through our one-on-one educational therapy. So often, addressing academic challenges relieves enough stress to ease emotional triggers, calming anxiety and giving students a chance to build healthy communication and self-advocacy skills.
Seeking a skilled therapist to work with you and your child can also be extremely effective. Through La Jolla LearningWorks’ educational therapy, we can help you find an appropriate referral through our network of trusted therapists specializing in ADHD.
No matter your approach, identifying and acknowledging challenges with emotional control will be a lifelong gift to you and your child. Call us today at (858) 456-4569 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help.
About the Author:
Megan Trezza, M.Ed., is the CEO and founder of La Jolla LearningWorks, where she has helped hundreds of families in San Diego gain the peace of mind and home of having a happy, successful child with learning differences. Connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LaJollaLearningWorks, or via email at megan@LJLearningWorks.com.