(717) 373-1743


Posted on: July 12th, 2023

I still remember that moment; trying to put my shoes on a wire rack and they kept falling off. I got so frustrated that I resorted to throwing a shoe at the rack . Fortunately, a family member was there and helped me calm down. Since then, I have helped kids overcome their frustration intolerance, guiding them to calm down when they start complaining, crying, slamming, or throwing. By the way, in Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD, Susan Pinsky recommends against wire shoe racks due to the very issue I dealt with. Instead, she suggests getting a solid shelf- I did, and it made a world of difference.


The ADHD brain doesn’t handle frustration well. Being stuck on something that isn’t working, when you enjoy the activity, gets upsetting and uses up our energy for thinking. Being stuck when the activity isn’t enjoyable evaporates motivation and makes us want to walk away. Then there’s the anger, irritability, yelling, crying, and even throwing things that others in proximity of the person are stuck dealing with.


There’s a technique from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) by Marsha Linehan called REST:

  • Relax: walk away so you can reset and think clearly. If you can’t walk away, count to 10 or use another relaxation strategy.
  • Evaluate: is anyone in danger? Is anyone dying? What’s really going on in this situation?
  • Set a plan: think your way through what to do next. This can be rather difficult with ADHD, especially for children, but it forces the individual to take the time to consider their next steps before acting.
  • Take action: put the plan into motion.

A similar technique that particularly works with young children is called being a STAR (credit to a preschool teacher):

  • Stop
  • Take a breath
  • and
  • Relax

Needing Help

Frustration is inevitable in life, but managing it is doable, even with ADHD. If you or a loved one are struggling, reach out to Sound Health Counseling Solutions today to find out how we can help you manage ADHD and frustration.