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Flexible Thinking Strategies For Kids

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Flexible thinking, also called cognitive flexibility, is the ability to approach situations and problems from new or different perspectives. This skill can be challenging for some individuals due to a fear of change and for those with executive function deficits or ADHD due to neurobiological factors and their reliance on familiar routines. However, clients can develop this ability with practice.

The Flexible Thinking Strategies For Kids handout helps clients think flexibly, come up with creative solutions, handle changes more easily, and understand different points of view. The handout is divided into three sections: the first section explains what flexible thinking is and provides an example. The second section is divided into two subsections: one features five essential qualities that promote flexible thinking while the other highlights calming activities that support flexible thinking.

Kids and teens using this handout may benefit from improved academic success, peer interactions, and emotional regulation as a result of better cognitive flexibility. Caring adults may provide opportunities for children to practice one or more calming activities from the handout. Parents can also model flexibility by verbalizing moments when they’re “letting something go” or “going with the flow” in a situation.

Since kids with ADHD and executive function deficits often have trouble with cognitive flexibility, this handout is included in our 29-page ADHD Handouts Bundle.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of ADHD worksheets and handouts.


  1. Farrant, B. M., Fletcher, J., & Maybery, M. T. (2014). Cognitive flexibility, theory of mind, and hyperactivity/Inattention. Child Development Research, 2014, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/741543
  2. Dastamooz, S., Sadeghi-Bahmani, D., Farahani, M. H., Wong, S. H., Yam, J. C., Tham, C. C., & Sit, C. H. (2023). The efficacy of physical exercise interventions on mental health, cognitive function, and ADHD symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD: An umbrella review. eClinicalMedicine, 62, 102137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.102137
  3. Veloso, A., Vicente, S. G., & Filipe, M. G. (2020). Effectiveness of cognitive training for school-aged children and adolescents with attention deficit/Hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02983
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  • File: PDF
  • Size: 8.5" x 11"

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