Just about everyone is feeling more stressed and anxious as we all deal with the disruptions and uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus crisis. Anxiety is a normal reaction during these times, and we all need to find healthy ways to cope with our anxious feelings. For kids with ADHD, signs of anxiety can easily be missed because they often mimic ADHD symptoms.
Fortunately, there are many things parents can do to help kids cope with anxiety, starting with helping kids recognize and name their feelings. It might seem like recognizing and labeling our feelings are things that are fairly simple to do, but it actually requires some fairly sophisticated skills that develop over time during childhood and adolescence.
Every child develops at their own pace, and kids with ADHD may develop these skills more slowly than kids without ADHD. When these skills are lagging, kids express their feelings and emotions through behaviors rather than words. Feelings manifest as behavior outbursts, argumentativeness, frequent crying, withdrawing from family and friends, poor sleep, changes in eating habits, and/or physical complaints like stomachaches or headaches. When kids are able to label their feelings and express them in healthier ways, they feel less anxious, their behavior improves as well.
Here are five strategies for teaching your child the skills they need to start recognizing and naming their feelings today.
When it comes to helping your child cope with anxiety, teaching them to recognize and name their feelings is an important first step. With practice and patience, your child will develop the skills they need to express their emotions through words. Over time, you’ll find that they are relying more on words and less on behavior to express how they feel.
Mary Rooney, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Dr Rooney is a researcher and clinician specializing in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD and co-occurring behavioral, anxiety, and mood disorders. A strong advocate for those with attention and behavior problems, Dr. Rooney is committed to developing and providing comprehensive, cutting edge treatments tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and adolescent. Dr. Rooney's clinical interventions and research avenues emphasize working closely with parents and teachers to create supportive, structured home and school environments that enable children and adolescents to reach their full potential. In addition, Dr. Rooney serves as a consultant and ADHD expert to Huntington Learning Centers.
Huntington Learning Center is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students of all levels succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington's mission is to give every student the best education possible. Call us today at 1.800.CAN LEARN to discuss how Huntington can help your child. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
This website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only.