Things Parents of Kids With ADHD Wish You Knew
It takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to be a good parent, especially if your child has ADHD. But even though millions of children have the disorder, misconceptions about it are widespread. Here’s what some parents of children with ADHD want you to know.
Don’t call my child a “bad kid”.
ADHD causes some children to be hyperactive or impulsive, have trouble following instructions, or have trouble controlling their emotions. Children with symptoms like these do not make a malicious choice to act or thwart authority. They are living with a brain disorder.
“It really hurts me when other parents think our kids are just ‘bad kids’,” says Yakini Pierce, mother of two and global product manager in Cleveland, OH. Pierce’s two children – daughter Reyna, 12, and son Rickey, 10 – have ADHD.
She says that when a child with the disorder collapses or is frustrated in the moment, “they are really trying to communicate and just don’t know how. Once they learn it takes them to a whole new level. “
“Bad parenting” does not cause ADHD.
Experts don’t know why some children get ADHD, but they think genes play an important role. What we do know for sure is this: It is a myth that disorder occurs because of mistakes made by a mother or father.
“I think a lot of people see ADHD as this overdiagnosed label for bad parenting,” says Nicole Schlechter, a special education advocate in Hampshire, IL, whose 11-year-old son Mason has ADHD, Autism and Anxiety. . “It’s not a parenting issue, and I think that’s a huge misconception about ADHD.”
Kirsten Hecht, PhD, a scientist and researcher in Gainesville, Florida, has an 11-year-old son with ADHD named Dmitry. “There’s a lot of parental shame that goes with it,” she says. “Like, ‘you must have done something wrong.'” Or, as another mom once said to her, “” You must have let him watch a lot of TV when he was little. “I thought, ‘It doesn’t make sense.’ “
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