ADHD Aggressive Behavior
Children with ADHD can have many different reactions to their ADHD. Some children may scream and throw fits, while others might use physical violence such as hitting or throwing things. Regardless of how your child acts with his or her ADHD, it is important to understand how to deal with your child and his or her aggressive behavior.
Define the Problem
One of the first steps for handling aggressive behavior associated with ADHD is to define the problem you are having with your child. To do this, write down what your child does and why he or she does this. What causes him or her to respond with physical violence? Be sure to vocalize what the child did wrong when you tell them to stop. Give them suggestions on how to respond in a situation like this next time. Also, make sure to make it clear to your child that hitting or throwing things is wrong. Instead, teach them how to use their words.
Understand the Behavior
While ADHD can be frustrating for children who experience this condition, it can be just as frustrating for parents. However, it is important to understand that your child is not choosing to willingly act like this, and oftentimes, he or she cannot help the behavior. First, learn to control your emotions, and try not to yell at your child when he or she acts out. Rather, learn to use a calm but stern voice to tell your child what he or she did wrong, and explain why it was wrong and how to fix it. Another tip for parents is to try to understand the situation from their child’s point of view.
Try to understand how frustrating a situation can be for a child with ADHD and why they might react the way they do. This can be useful when you discuss with your child their behavior and ways to change it. Showing your child you understand how difficult this can be for them, might help your child to feel like you support them. This is because a child with ADHD can feel like they are always doing something wrong and they are always at fault. However, it is an impulse, and explaining this will show them that you still care and support them. This could lead to your child listening to you more.
Seek Help from Others
When learning to deal with your child’s aggressive behavior, another suggestion is to not be afraid to ask for suggestions from other parents or healthcare professionals who have dealt with this condition before. These people may have great techniques and strategies for helping to move kids away from using violence to express their emotions and more towards using their words.
Reward Good Behavior
Rewarding and acknowledging good behavior as well as inappropriate behavior is crucial when dealing with a child with ADHD. It can often seem to children with ADHD that they are always in trouble. However, pointing out when they do use their words instead of hitting will be great positive reinforcement. Also, try comparing the behaviors to your child and showing them what happens when they behave appropriately and what happens when they do not, such as time outs and having favorite items taken away.
Listen and Learn
One of the most important things you can do for a child with ADHD is to listen to them. Even though dealing with an aggressive child with ADHD can be difficult, he or she is still your child and needs your love and support. Be sure to listen to what the child is saying and use that to gauge their mood. Understand the triggers or conversations that could cause arguments or temper tantrums. Be sure to have open communication with your child, and let him or her know that it is okay to be alone sometimes. Also, if the child is upset or feels that they are going to have an aggressive moment, learn to help your child learn to control their aggressive behavior, instead of letting it control them.