How Children with ADHD can ‘Stay Cool’ when Dealing with Emotions

feel good ADHDWe were lucky enough to get an advance copy of Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool: Emotional Regulation Tools for Kids with AD/HD (Magination Press, 2014) by Judith M. Glasser, PhD and Kathleen Nadeau, PhD. While the book has a 2014 publishing date, it will actually be available in September 2013. We’re offering an exclusive sneak preview on what the book has to offer.

About the Book

Sadness for many children can be like, say, a mud puddle. Sadness for children with ADHD, however, can be more like an entire ocean of permanent black ink.

That’s because children with ADHD generally have an even tougher time dealing with emotions than others. Their reactions may be more intense or they may display a seeming over-reaction to a seemingly small issue.

The thing is, the issue doesn’t feel small to them – and the emotions can loom large, like a monstrous ocean.

And that’s exactly why Judith Glasser and Kathleen Nadeau created the book Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool: Emotional Regulation Tools for Kids with AD/HD. 

The book kicks off with a rundown on common emotions – complete with a pop quiz of a scowling face or a happy grin to help kids learn to recognize them. Cartoons proliferate throughout the entire book, as do interactive exercises and super-short chapters, making the book itself an ADHD-friendly read.

Geared for kids ages 6 to 11, the book is set up to read in tandem with parents, although older children may do well reading it on their own. A few special notes for parents and exercises for parents at kids at the end round out the tome.

Glasser and Nadeau make it perfectly clear that emotions are influenced by state of mind, hunger, lack of sleep – and then offer kids tools they can use to ensure they stay in their “Feel Good Zone” while avoiding their “Upset Zone.”

A tour through “Your Feel Good Zone” and ways to avoid “Your Upset Zone” take precedence in two early chapters, followed by the really fun stuff:

The emotional toolbox.

The toolboxes are stocked with a collection of useful tools children with ADHD can use to better process and deal with emotions.  Children are first introduced to general tools to feel good and avoid feeling bad, followed by specific tools to help combat specific emotions.

The tools are so cool that

  1. Even parents and other adults can benefit
  2. They put any typical hardware store’s tool inventory to shame

Advanced tools even include methods to solve problems so emotional upsets can start to come far less frequently. We told you these tools were cool!

Although the book is geared toward those suffering from ADHD, the general feeling is that any child could benefit from this practical, straightforward guide, as could many parents.

About the Authors

Judith M. Glasser, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with 30 years of experience helping children and their parents overcome emotional and educational challenges. One of her favorite MOs for doing so is identifying a child’s weaknesses and strengths – and then working on the strengths. Learn more on her website at

Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, is the director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland who doubles as the co-editor and co-publisher of ADDvance, A Magazine for Women with Attention Deficit Disorder. She is co-publisher of the ADHD specialty press Advantage Books and she serves on a slew of professional advisory boards for organizations focusing on the needs of children and adults with ADHD. Learn more at

We sent several questions to the authors to learn more about their book and how to effectively interact with children who have ADHD. Glasser responded for them both, and here’s what they had to say:

How and why did you two come together to create this book?  

Kathy and I have known each other for 30 years. This book was based on an idea I had many years ago.

Have you collaborated on other projects in the past? Any plans to in the future?  

We have not collaborated on other projects; however I did have the privilege of working with Kathy for a couple of years.  Although it was great fun working together on this book at the moment we don’t have specific plans to collaborate on another one. I learned a tremendous amount from working with Kathy.

What is the BEST thing parents can do when their child with ADHD has an emotional outburst/is struggling with emotions?  

Listen without judging or lecturing.

What’s the WORST thing parents can do when their child with ADHD has an emotional outburst/is struggling with emotions?  

Yell, lecture, and issue punishments they cannot follow through with.

What is one of the top weaknesses children with ADHD have? 

Difficulty with controlling their impulses; their brains’ braking systems don’t work very well and they often have great difficulty stopping and thinking before they act and talk.

What about one of the top strengths for children with ADHD?

Children with ADHD are often very creative; they notice things other people don’t notice and often “think outside the box.”

What’s the biggest ADHD myth still kicking around out there? 

The biggest myth is that ADHD is doesn’t exist and is not a real diagnosis.

What single piece of advice would you give to parents of children with ADHD (either in general or specifically geared toward emotions)? 

Get help. These can be challenging children to raise. It is very important that you learn everything you can learn about ADHD. Join CHADD ( for support and to learn. I would also recommend that parents explore ways to change the child’s environment (at school and at home) to help them with ways to support their weaknesses and build on their strengths.

Anything else you want our readers to know?

Children learn by copying you. It is really important that you take care of yourselves and learn to model the ability to regulate your own emotions.

Thank you, Judith and Kathleen. 

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