Persistent ADHD and Overly Critical Parenting

In my years of treating children with ADHD I have found that working with their parents is at least as important as working with the child. Because ADHD – Combined Type (70% of cases) is truly a disruptive disorder, it often impacts the emotional health of the family. Children with ADHD- Combined Type are subject to much criticism from adults (and sometimes peers) because their behavior is disruptive and they do not meet normal expectations for behavioral control for their age. Early on, they are hearing negative feedback and are at high risk for low self esteem and oppositional defiance. Interrupting this cycle early on is a salient goal of therapy.  I work with parents to help them express their frustrations in a way that corrects behavior  without damaging their child emotionally. The following article lends credence to the need to help parents respond to their ADHD child in a way that is healing for the best long term outcome for the child and family.

Persistent ADHD and Overly Critical Parenting
While the causes of ADHD appear to be a blend of genetic and environmental factors, researchers are studying why in some children symptoms seem to disappear and others do not. The reason might be mom and dad. Researchers from Florida International University studied over three years the changing of childrens’ ADHD symptoms as it related to parents’ level of criticism and emotional involvement. The findings showed that parental emotional overinvolvement did not seem to impact a child’s ADHD symptoms, whereas sustained critical parenting was found to be associated with the continued occurrence of symptoms.  Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post  02/09/2016
Read Article: The Washington Post
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