How to Calm Down Your Teen By Calming Yourself: ADHD Parenting

Parents emotions and reactions can have a major effect on their teens. Here's how to calm down your teen by calming yourself.

2/24/2020 6:01:00 PM

When we get angry or yell during difficult moments with our kids, our child’s mirror neurons rise up to meet ours. More anger ensues, the situation intensifies, and it takes us longer to get to a place of calm and resolution.

Parents emotions and reactions can have a major effect on their teens. Here's how to calm down your teen by calming yourself.

, and, possibly, ADHD. For the last few years, the mother has struggled with anxiety over her daughter’s challenges. Then the mom worked hard to focus on the present and recognize that her daughter would be fine in the long run, likely even stronger for her struggles. Once she did this, it changed the way her daughter experienced her life as well.

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Many of us harbor anxiety over present and future unknowns relating to our child. We might notice that our anxiety peaks during certain times of the year, such as high school graduation season, a time when our Facebook newsfeeds are filled with photos of happy students transitioning to bright futures. We see those images and we act a little differently toward our child — less patient, more intense, less trusting. And our kids will feel it.

We want to knowour emotional triggersso we can know when they’re being pulled. I know my own — feeling like I’m not being taken seriously, or having someone be angry with me when I feel they have no right to be. Being aware of these triggers keeps me honest about my reactions when my son sparks a strong response in me.

One way to get to the heart of our feelings about our teen is to ask: What am I making this mean? I have a friend with a twice-exceptional child withautism. He has no friends. My friend has racked her brain looking for ways to help him build a social circle. I asked her what she was making it mean that her son didn’t have a social circle. I know that her son is happy doing his own thing and spending time alone.

[Free Expert Resource: Unraveling the Mysteries of Your ADHD Brain]After my friend gave it some thought, she realized she had a lot invested in the idea that her son needed a small, tight-knit circle of friends to be happy, in part because she herself wouldn’t have survived high school without her two best friends. Making this connection didn’t end the worries for my friend, but it did prompt her to consider that her son’s needs were different from hers, and that he might spend a lot of time alone. And that’s OK. Knowing that helps her stay more relaxed when another social situation triggers the same response.

Reframe the Situation for a Better PerspectiveAnother powerful reframing question isWhat’s perfect about this? Meaning, how might what’s happening in this moment be exactly what needs to happen for my child, for me, or both of us? Often my response was, “I can’t think of a single thing.” But then I discovered there is always a way to flip a situation around and consider the gifts that might be hidden within it.

Excerpted from, by DEBORAH REBER. Copyright 2018, Workman Publishing. Read more: ADDitude »

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Understanding ADHD: Your ADHD Spouse or Child Is Okay'Here’s the thing about ADHD and its interference with life’s functions: it’s only an impairment if the person with ADHD experiences it that way. Can someone be considered 'disordered' if they function exactly how they want to be functioning?' Dudes, your obsessive need to make a gift out of a debilitating disorder masks the general public’s understanding of its impairments. Replace adhd with another chronic disease like diabetes and you get an idea of how ridiculous you sound. My kids, both adults, are not happy the way they are. They know why & they struggle to overcome the exec dysfunction, emotional disregulation & impulsivity that cause them serious problems academically and socially. Please stop this “reframing” ADHD/ADD nonsense.