The ADHD Smarter Parenting‘s Podcast

Ep #156: Using coping skills to help kids manage big emotions

October 6, 2021

Does your child throw tantrums? They are not doing it because they hate you, though sometimes it may feel like that. Instead, your child is feeling/dealing with large or unfamiliar emotions and doesn't know how to handle what they are going through, so they resort to anger, frustration, crying, or even silence.

Coping skills allow a child to better process what is happening safely. When using a coping skill, the goal is to bring a child back into a neutral or calm space.

There are hundreds of coping skills, also called calm down strategies, ranging from crumpling up a piece of paper to yoga or visualization. What will work best for your child will depend on various factors, such as how they learn and what they are naturally drawn to.

Teaching a child a coping skill in the middle of heightened emotions will not be effective. It's crucial to determine coping skills and to practice them at neutral times. Doing so will allow your child to become familiar with how those coping skills make their body feel.

Involving children in learning coping skills allows them to feel more invested in using them when they are upset. You can help them determine what coping skills would work best for them using Decision Making (SODAS Method). 

At, you can find a free worksheet that will walk you and your child through the SODAS Method.

Teaching children how to coping with unfamiliar feelings and situations will benefit them throughout their entire life. Successful adults are those who have learned how to manage when things become overwhelming or stressful. 

Coping skills are beneficial for kids who have ADHD as it helps them process what is going on around them and brings them back to the present.

Helping a child learn how to calm down isn't always easy. If you need help, please sign up for a coaching session where one of our expert coaches will guide you and your family.

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