Quick Tip

A Simple Strategy for Getting Over Upsets: Clearing


Sometimes, when our kids are feeling something intensely – or when the thoughts in their ADHD brains are swirling at a thousand miles a minute – it’s really hard for them to concentrate on anything else. “Clearing” is a great tool to help them make room in their brains for concentration.

The feelings that come up for typical kids — fear, loneliness, isolation, and doubt — can seem magnified in an ADHD kid. As parents, we might get annoyed by our child’s negativity, or try to talk him/her out of feeling overwhelmed. But it doesn’t work. When kids bottle up thoughts and feelings, it can be SO DISTRACTING!

“Clearing” can help. Set the timer for 2 minutes, and encourage your child to get it out: vent, clear, kvetch, moan, cry…whatever it takes. Just keep asking, “anything else?” or “what else?” and let them tell you everything that’s on their mind.

Once they let intense emotions “out,” they will usually run their natural course and dissipate. And then, your child will be better able to concentrate on whatever else is on the agenda for the day.

By the way, this technique works great for spouses at the end of a long day, too! Just don’t forget to set the timer!

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