Emotional Tantrums

ADHD & Marriage News - November 11, 2021

Quote of the Week

“During your child’s tantrum, it is not your job to calm your child down.  Your job is to calm yourself and keep your child safe.”

- Dr. Becky Kennedy

Emotional Tantrums

‘Tantrum’ is a word that I hate to use about adult behavior, but unfortunately in the emotional dysregulation that can come with ADHD, it can sometimes be apt.  I’ve seen grown men jump up and down in one place, face red, with fists balled up.  It’s not pretty.  And it is a tantrum.

I chose this quote because it speaks to a common response to tantrums that doesn’t typically work – trying to calm someone down once the tantrum has started.  At that point, the person’s logical thinking has been hijacked, and calming them is almost impossible.  Instead, you must let the angry partner calm down and make sure everyone (including yourself) remains safe.  The calmer the other partner is, the less fuel for the tantrum ‘fire.’

A better strategy is to create a verbal cue to use before the tantrum starts that keeps emotions from escalating.  I review how to do this in my couples seminar.

I have also recently written a blog post on extreme emotions that provides interesting info on the biology of emotional dysregulation and on RSD. 

If you have wild outbursts in your relationship, I hope you review these resources.



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For those in marriages impacted by ADHD

Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. Find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD including free: Online treatment overview; Downloadable chapters of my books; A community forum with other couples facing similar issues; A large number of blog posts on various topics; Referrals. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life! 


Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. 

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