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Managing an ADHD Meltdown: Part I

Posted on: October 18th, 2021

According to ADDitudemag.com, Nothing can make a parent feel more powerless than a child with ADHD in meltdown mode.  But meltdowns say nothing of your parenting ability.  They reflect the nature of ADHD. 

Here are 7 tips to manage an ADHD meltdown:

  • Agree on a plan.  Ask your child with ADHD what would calm him down if he gets upset. Practice this ahead of time before heading out the door.
  • Acknowledge her feelings.  Let her know you understand what she is going through using a calm voice.  Then ask your child to rate her disappointment or anger on a scale of 1-5. This gives you an idea of the severity of the problem.
  • Set the expectation.  Explain to him that the clock is running. Say, “Let’s see how fast you can calm yourself down, so we can get on with the rest of our day”
  • Model deep breathing. Practice the “hot chocolate” breath.  Bring the palms face up as if holding a mug or bowl. Blow softly on the out-breath across the palms of the hands.
  • Release muscle tension safely.  Squeeze and release the muscles, use a squeeze ball, kinetic sand, rip up cardboard, or exercise.
  • Remote Control Imagery: Pretend that she is holding a remote control in her hand. Ask her to press the button that turns down her emotions. Or use it to “change the channel” in her mind.
  • Ask for help.  If your child meltdowns aren’t responsive to interventions, work with a professional to improve the chances of avoiding them.

Though ADHD presents extra challenges, treatments and strategies are available that may make it easier to deal with meltdowns.  Need ideas?  Contact me at SHCS.