It isn’t easy to parent a child with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When the child misbehaves, strangers can feel justified commenting or offering advice.
Even friends and family may criticize a parent’s choices.
These quotes from parents of kids with ADHD will make you rethink parenting.
Mark Griffin, PhD, an Understood.org expert and a former headmaster of a school for kids with learning and attention issues, offers a professional’s take on these trying situations.
1. ADHD is "invisible" to outsiders
“The hardest thing about ADHD is that it’s ‘invisible’ to outsiders. People just assume that we are not being good parents and that our child is a brat, when they don’t have an idea how exhausted we truly are.” —S.C.
Dr. Griffin: The signs and symptoms of ADHD aren’t always visible, which is why people should pause before drawing conclusions about kids’ behaviour.
2. Scolding a child with ADHD won't work
“The way I handle my child’s behaviour may look permissive to you, but constantly scolding does nothing but hurt self-esteem. I know what I’m doing and I don’t need an onlooker’s approval.”
Dr. Griffin: There are ways to get a child with ADHD to listen without yelling. Parents have to find the right strategies to help their child with ADHD follow rules and stay on track, and it makes no sense for others to judge.
3. Smart kids with ADHD still need help
“Having a high IQ or being intelligent does not mean ADHD is not a disability.” —Y.T.
Dr. Griffin: The notion that a ‘bright’ child won’t experience difficulties because of ADHD has been proven incorrect by research.