For kids with ADHD, the inability to concentrate can become frustrating, especially during schoolwork. Personally, as a woman with ADHD, I get irritable when I have to read something two or three times in order to understand it. Multiply that by 10 and you have my kids’ feelings when they can’t understand something.
It’s extremely irritating to feel as if your brain isn’t working well and that’s a common experience for kids and adults with ADHD. Then, if your kids are perfectionists, they’re going to have an even harder time dealing with these frustrations. Our youngest boy is extremely hard on himself, and since he has a hard time focusing, he gets frustrated on a daily basis.
Over time, though, we’ve learned how to help him calm down and refocus. Here are a few suggestions to help your kids with managing ADHD and frustration! If these tips help, be sure to read more about how you can schedule your homeschool for kids with ADHD!
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Tips for Helping Kids Deal with ADHD and Frustration
Anticipate the meltdown.
Start to recognize your child’s triggers. We talked about identifying our own triggers as parents with ADHD the other day, and we have to do the same thing with our kids.
For Roo, handwriting (which we’ll talk about next week) is a particular issue. He thinks that his letters should look exactly like the ones on the chalkboard. There have been days when he literally erases every single letter at least once. Every. Single. Letter. Now that I know that he feels that way, I reduce his copywork so that he won’t get overwhelmed. If you know which areas of homeschooling tend to give your child problems, try to find ways to make the lesson a bit easier on them.
Try deep breathing.
Deep breathing is one of the suggestions in Dr. Daniel Amen’s book Healing ADD, and for good reason. Breathing deeply is a natural way to release tension that builds up in the body when we’re frustrated or angry.
Whenever Roo gets frustrated during class, I have him stand up. Then I take his hands in mine and we breathe deeply together three or four times. Generally, he calms down right away. If we don’t do deep breathing, he often can’t calm down enough to hear my suggestions or accept my help.
Once your child has calmed down a little, encourage him to talk about his feelings. Why did he get frustrated? Is there a particular concept that’s hard for him to grasp? Would he like some help? Teaching our kids how to express themselves can help them avoid getting frustrated in the future.
With Roo, we ask “Can you tell us why you’re upset?” (This is usually after the deep breathing.) He generally answers with an extremely thorough explanation about what happened, what he didn’t like, and why it bothered him so much. After he explains himself, we can address his concerns and offer help.
Now, I will admit: Sometimes we go through all of these steps and he is still frustrated. That’s our cue to take a break from school and come back to the concept a little later on. Usually after a little time has passed, he grasps the concept better and we can return to our regularly scheduled lessons. 🙂
Do your kids with ADHD get frustrated during schoolwork? How do you help them deal with those feelings? Share your suggestions in the comments!
Stop by to see some of our other ADHD homeschooling tips!
Plus, get more ideas from my ADHD Tips board on Pinterest!
This post is part of the 31 Days of ADHD Homeschooling series! Stop by tomorrow for Day 25: Test Taking Tips for Kids with ADHD!