The ADHD Smarter Parenting‘s Podcast
Ep #145: Helping kids deal with emotional dysregulation using Effective Praise

Ep #145: Helping kids deal with emotional dysregulation using Effective Praise

July 21, 2021

If your child experiences extreme emotional responses to small events, such as spilling their milk or getting touched, they may be experiencing emotional dysregulation. 

Emotional dysregulation means that their brain has difficulty distinguishing between events and their severity. In simple terms, it means that their brain often equates all experiences such as spilling their milk or losing a significant game with the same seriousness putting their body into fight or flight.

While it can be challenging to remember when your child is in the middle of a tantrum, emotional dysregulation is not a lack of parenting skills or a child being disrespectful to you as a parent.

When a child is experiencing emotional dysregulation, your goal as a parent should be to help them understand what is happening and give them tools to calm down and refocus. The behavior skill of Effective Praise does just that as it allows your child's brain to pause and reset by acknowledging that you are present and that you are here to help.

While it may seem counterintuitive to give your child praise while throwing a tantrum as you don't want to encourage their negative behavior. Effective Praise refocuses where your energy is being placed and keeps you from being drawn into your child's fight or flight response. Instead of focusing on what they are doing wrong, which only adds to their fight or flight response, you acknowledge their emotions while giving them something good to focus on instead of the strong negative emotional response they are experiencing.

For example, during a tantrum, a child may pause to take a breath, sit down, lower their voice, throw something with less force, etc. All of those things are positives that can--and should be--acknowledge.

When parents use Effective Praise to deal with emotional dysregulation, they will see changes in how they respond and how their child responds to the situation. 

You can find more about Effective Praise on

If you need help knowing what to praise your child for, our Parenting Coaches are here to help. Sign up for Parenting Coaching and we can create an individualized plan for you.

Ep #144: ADHD and trauma

Ep #144: ADHD and trauma

July 14, 2021

The symptoms of ADHD and trauma are very similar. Frequently kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD also experience trauma.

Symptoms of both ADHD and trauma include: 

  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of social connections
  • Poor memory
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Impulsivity
  • Restlessness

Trauma can come from death, loss, bullying, experiencing a natural disaster or traumatic event, or physical, mental, or sexual abuse. 

When a person is dealing with trauma, they often have difficulty processing what happened, so their mind and body live in a constant state of fight or flight as they continually relive what happened, which is exhausting and scary for children. 

If your child has experienced trauma, we recommend seeking professional help in addressing the cause of the trauma.

When a child is in flight or fight mode, parents can use the behavior skill of Observe and Describe to help refocus on what is happening in the present. 

Using Observe and Describe tells your child, "I'm here. I see you. I know you're struggling. You're safe. We can get through this together."


For show notes and transcript of this episode visit:

Ep #143: Techniques to help kids with ADHD get things done

Ep #143: Techniques to help kids with ADHD get things done

July 7, 2021

If you've given your child a task only to find out later that they've built a fort, read a book, or used their tablet instead of doing the job, welcome to parenting a child with ADHD.

Kids with ADHD get distracted easily. It's just a fact. They get distracted not because they aren't bright or motivated, rather because staying on a task is not something that comes easily or naturally to them, so it's essential to give them specific techniques that help them.

These techniques can include charts, visual aids, point systems, timers, and an environment that reduces distractions.

For example, if you want your child to clean their room, but they have a TV, computer, tablet, or phone, those distractions will make it harder for them to do what is needed. Instead, by removing these items or blocking access to them and having a step-by-step guide to cleaning their room, you make it easier for your child to do what they are supposed to.

The techniques will help reduce the distractions and make it more likely for them to do the job, but they still need consequences if they don't. 

The skill of Effective Negative Consequences helps you determine consequences that matter to your child. If screen time or time with friends is important to your child, losing them motivates them to do better in the future.

The goal of Effective Negative Consequences is to teach your child, not to punish your child. You can find more about the skill on

Ep #142: Getting kids to listen without yelling

Ep #142: Getting kids to listen without yelling

June 30, 2021

No parent likes giving the same instruction over and over again only to have it ignored. When parents reached this stage, they think their only course of action is to get their child's attention by yelling.

While yelling may get your child's attention, it can initiate their flight or fight response that will make it more difficult for them to do what you wanted of them in the first place.

There is a better way to engage with your child that creates connections. You develop better relationships with your child by investing in behavior skills and teaching your child your expectations. 

The behavior skill Following Instructions teaches your child how to listen and do what you want them to do without either of you getting frustrated or angry, reducing stress and frustration.

Think of what your family life would look like if when you asked your child to do something, they did it without complaining? Wouldn't that change the whole dynamic of your family? 

Teaching a new behavior skill requires work and time, but we promise that the long-term payoff will be incredible. It will change how your family interacts. You will find that your home is a calmer, happier, and more wonderful place.

Ep #141: Behavior skills will give you confidence in your parenting

Ep #141: Behavior skills will give you confidence in your parenting

June 23, 2021

Parenting stretches our abilities and, quite often, our confidence. It doesn't take too many tantrums for many parents to realize that they don't know how what to do. Then, just when you may think you finally have something figured out, another child with another personality comes along.

Parenting doesn't have to be such a struggle. Our goal at Smarter Parenting is to help parents feel confident in their ability to handle any parenting issue or challenge in a way that builds, not destroys, relationships.

The behavior skills we teach are a blueprint for better parenting. They show you what you can do to keep situations from escalating out of hand. 

Every parent can use a little help as there is no such thing as a perfect parent. It's okay to admit that you need assistance, and recognizing that does not make you a bad parent. 

The more parenting tool you have, the more confidence you will feel in your parenting! We can't wait to help you become an incredible parent.

Visit for these amazing parenting skills.

Ep #140: Connecting with your child instead of controlling them

Ep #140: Connecting with your child instead of controlling them

June 16, 2021

When a child cannot control their own emotions, it can be easy for parents to step in and do it for them. While it may help our child in the short term, it isn't a long-term solution. When parents "control" their child, it can lead to resentment and an inability to function in the real world without parent intervention. Instead, parents need to show their kids what they need to do to control their emotions. 

Parents help kids control their emotions by teaching them specific skills that help them address what they are dealing with without losing control. When children have these skills, they have options instead of acting out.

The behavior skills we teach on will give your child confidence, increase their self-esteem, and make your life easier as you aren't constantly stepping in to "fix" everything.

As you give your child more tools, you strengthen connections with your child, and they will feel that you have their best interest in mind. 

When children feel that you believe in them and trust them, they will often do what they can to build on that, which will have huge dividends as they grow and they know that you are a safe place for them. 

To learn more about the skill discussed in this episode, visit to begin learning the skills that will reshape the interactions you have with your child.

Ep #139: Why parents shouldn’t use corporal punishment when disciplining

Ep #139: Why parents shouldn’t use corporal punishment when disciplining

June 9, 2021

When it comes to discipline, parents shouldn’t use corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is any physical, mental, or emotional pain inflicted on our kids

While corporal punishment may be effective in the short term, it can have adverse long-term effects. For example, studies have shown that children who have received physical punishments are more likely to show aggressive behavior as they grow older. 

When we react with anger when overwhelmed or frustrated, we teach our children that it is okay for them to act that way when they feel overwhelmed or frustrated. 

Children need discipline, but the aim of discipline should be to teach our kids, not punish them. When we teach them how to behave, we can prevent future problems as we are showing them a better way of doing things. When we teach, we are investing in a better and stronger relationship with our children.

Ep #138: Changing defiant behavior

Ep #138: Changing defiant behavior

June 2, 2021

Dealing with defiant behavior can be difficult for many parents. They may feel that their child will never make any improvement, and dealing with defiant behavior will be forever a part of their family dynamic.

We 100% know that behavior skills can improve defiant behavior. To improve a child's behavior, though, it requires a parent to make some changes too. 

It can be easy to think that defiant behavior is all our child's fault without realizing that our behavior or reaction may make their behavior worse.
Are we too strict, and are they craving out some freedom? Are we too lenient and have learned that they can get whatever they want by acting out? Do we not listen and jump to conclusions when they are trying to explain something?

It's vital to evaluate what is happening in the home that may be contributing to your child's defiant behavior. You may think you're doing everything right, but your child may need something different than what you are doing.

Because every child is different and has different needs and it's essential to make sure we address their needs. If their needs aren't met, they will try to get those needs met through other means--often through defiant behavior or acting out.

When parents are willing to make changes to help their child, then your child is more likely to find success as you are adapting to what they need. We should be asking ourselves,  "What does my child need from me to make the change permanent?" and then make the changes.

When parents make changes, it changes the dynamic of the whole entire family and will improve your child's behavior.

You can find a transcript and show notes for this episode on

Ep #137: Focusing on what kids do right

Ep #137: Focusing on what kids do right

May 26, 2021

We’ve heard so many parents say, “My child doesn’t do anything right.” Even the “worst” kids do things right. In fact, they may be doing a lot right. If we‘re focusing on the “bad,” that will be all we see, and we will miss what they do well.

The skill of Effective Praise helps parents acknowledge what kids are doing well, even if it’s small. When we focus on the positive, we will see things change as our kids will respond to the praise and acknowledgment of what they’re doing right.

Using Effective Praise is different than just offering general praise. General praise is sayings like, “Good job,” “Way to go,” “I’m proud of you.” While all of these sounds great, they won’t change your child’s behavior because they don’t tell a child anything.

On the other hand, Effective Praise helps a child understand what they are doing well and why they should continue it. Effective Praise is specific and tailored to your child and what they are doing.

Effective Praise sounds like, “Good job putting away your shoes. When you put away your shoes, you will know where they are, and you don’t have to spend time looking for them when you want to play with your friends.” 

The hardest time to praise our children is when they are misbehaving, as it can be easy to think they don’t deserve praise. That is when you need to praise them! Remember, a child acts out because they are dealing with large emotions that they don’t know how to express. When you praise positive behaviors during a tantrum, it shows them they have options other than misbehaving and that even though they are acting out, you still love them and want to help them.

You can find the skill of Effective Praise on the Smarter Parenting website.

Ep #136: Using behavior skills with ADHD and ODD

Ep #136: Using behavior skills with ADHD and ODD

May 19, 2021

Many children with ADHD also have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Understanding the difference between these two diagnoses will help parents better understand how to help their child.

Whether your child has ADHD, ODD, or both, the skills we teach on Smarter Parenting will work to help improve your child’s behavior. How you implement the skills will change depending on your child’s diagnosis because your child will need different things depending on their diagnosis.

Do you wonder if your child has ODD? All children can have moments of difficulty when they are angry or argue. Children with ODD show persistent anger, moodiness, arguing, defiance, or vindictiveness towards you or other authority figures. Their behavior goes beyond normal child’s behavior.

Children with ODD tend to angry, irritable, argumentative, or defiant and deliberately annoy, upset, or blame others for their mistakes. Children with ODD tend not to take responsibility for their actions, making them less likely to respond to consequences as they don’t believe they did anything wrong. 

Instead, they respond well to Effective Praise as it reinforces their self-motivation and self-rational.

Children with ADHD do respond well to Effective Negative Consequences as children then tend to act without thinking.

We love the skills of the Teaching-Family Model because no matter what diagnosis your child has, they can help. 

We know that implementing the skills when your child has a diagnosis can be challenging. If you need help, we offer individual coaching tailored to your child and your specific situation.

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