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Mental Health Moment

Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 2:25 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 2:38 PM

ADHD: Symptoms, Parental Education, & the Parent-Child Relationship

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by symptoms of inattention, with or without evidence of hyperactivity, excessive stimulation, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, irritability, and inability to delay gratification.  The inattention causes one to act without thinking, fail to listen to instructions, and have difficulty concentrating and completing work which in turn causes functional impairment. 

Symptoms occur prior to age 7.  The condition does not disappear with age and is likely to cause impairment throughout a person's life. Symptoms need to be present across settings. The individual needs to present the symptoms at home, at work, at school, and in all environments where they interact and participate.

In order to effectively address behaviors and emotions surrounding ADHD, parent education and training is KEY. The list below contains basic fundamentals that parents can target to help the child regulate behaviors and emotions, facilitate autonomy and relationships, and increase positive communication skills.

  • Increase and strengthen parent-child relationship
  • Decrease negative feedback
  • Increase positive reinforcement
  • Avoid perfection as a goal
  • Accept mistakes
  • Be non-critical
  • Decrease over involvement in child’s choices
  • Let child experience failures with minimal to no sympathy
  • Know the difference between your relationship with your child and your relationship with their behavior
  • Increase positive social skills and relationships if needed
  • Delay rewards

Anger and frustration can often rear its head in the parent and child relationship when a child has ADHD. Pinpointing what is causing the adverse reactions, can help to correct that anger and frustration. Often times they are reactions to stress, disappointment, anguish, and sadness. Children with ADHD are often more self-critical and have less self-compassion than their peers. These thinking patterns are vital to address to help facilitate positive self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-compassion.

Communication is another key component that can help facilitate self-compassion and a productive parent and child relationship. Below are several components of healthy communication skills that can be utilized in the parent and child relationship.

  • Change from negative to POSITIVE
  • Eliminate NO, DON’T, and STOP
  • Use “I” statements
  • Help change negative self-talk

If your child is having a hard time functioning in their day to day activities because of ADHD symptoms, you can reach out to a professional for help. In therapy, symptoms can be addressed through changing behaviors, emotional regulation, and positive communication skills.

If you want more information or would like to schedule an appointment with a professional, you can contact our Behavioral Health Department at 254-675-8621, ext 7853. 

For more information about the Behavioral Health Dept, please visit our services page: https://bit.ly/3kI8ObB.

Mindy Webb, M.S., LPC-Associate

Supervisor: Courtney Mayfield, M.S., LPC-S

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