Blaming Parents for Adhd?

Parents of kids with ADD and ADHD have a hard job ahead of them. Not only do you have to deal with your child or teen’s symptoms (which can be very challenging), you also have to deal with many ‘systems’ out there that are not very understanding or supportive of kids and teens with ADD or ADHD. Parents have to take on the role of: parent, therapist, advocate, educational assistant, medication consultant, etc.

And the worst part is – most parents feel like they are being blamed for their child’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – and often you are being blamed.

Let’s be very clear up front: Parenting does not cause ADHD. This has been conclusively proven. I’ll repeat it: Parenting doesn’t cause ADHD.

If anything, having an ADHD child is very stressful, presents unique challenges, and creates low parenting satisfaction. Why? Because of the ADHD.

As a child psychiatrist and a parent myself – my experience is that most people have kids, and despite the fact that they are not experts in parenting, they try hard (and maybe learn about parenting through reading or classes) and their child turns out fine. You can call this ‘natural intuitive parenting’. Parents then pat themselves on the back and say ‘I’m a great parent’.

In contrast, the parent of a child with ADHD can do the exact same things – and a lot more – but they just don’t work. Instead of them being able to pat themselves on the back, everybody is trying to tell them how to parent their child because their child just doesn’t seem to listen. This leads to a lot of parenting frustration, and it makes it harder for the parents.

To compound the issue, often times the doctors and therapists involved in making recommendations for ADHD treatment suggest that the parents go for therapy, and the kid or teen doesn’t have to. This makes the issue worse, when the parent feels that he or she is being blamed by the doctor!

The reality is that even though parents may not be the cause of ADHD, you can be part of the solution. Research has shown that when parents use specific strategies designed to help with ADHD, this can improve their effectiveness as parents. This is often called ‘Parent Management Training’.

It’s important for parents of kids with ADD or ADHD to remember – you are not the cause of the ADD or ADHD, but you are part of the solution. Get the support and help you need, and keep trying all that you can. You know that your child is worth it!

Dr. Kenny Handelman is a child psychiatrist and ADD/ADHD expert. He has created a free video on ADHD, called: What should you do about ADHD?. To learn more about ADHD symptoms and ADHD treatment, get your free video here:
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