The Effects of ADD on the Family

Children who have been diagnosed with ADD can be disruptive to say the least. Parents are often tempted to use corporal punishment because they feel that nothing less will get a child’s attention. Parents will try everything from emotional black mail to ignoring the problem to care taking in order to try and manage the situation. I know from experience with my nine year old that nothing seems to work.

Unfortunately, individuals with ADD do not respond well to any kind of punishment, whether it is corporeal or emotional. In the case of children, attempting to discipline them with violent acts only teaches them that violence is the best way to resolve conflicts. You cannot teach an individual with ADD to be accountable for their actions. All you can really do is minimize the heart-rending guilt that they feel when they do commit a misdeed.

Many parents of ADHD children are still waiting for their child’s case of the “terrible twos” to be over even after the child has reached adolescence. These impulsive and hyperactive children are often unable to “look before they leap” and cause serious safety threats to the entire family. As children with ADHD are also usually very creative and intelligent, it is difficult to quell their curiosity. They are always getting into medicine cabinets, trying to cook supper on their own and seeing how high they can climb up a tree. To make things worse some ADHD children have perceptual, coordination and balance disorders that affects their judgment when it comes to determining whether or not they are about to put themselves in a precarious position. This also leads to a lot of spills, breakage and loss of valuable property. I should know my nine-year is like a bull in China shop.

Individuals with ADD or ADHD can also cause serious emotional rifts between yourself and other members of your family. For instance, siblings of a child with ADD can act up because they feel they deserve the same kind of attention and focus that is given to the child who is misbehaving all the time. They may also resent the child and shun them from their social circle because they are embarrassed by his or her behavior. Physical and emotional injuries are frequent as conflicts break out between frustrated siblings and baffled sufferers of ADD. My older children are furious I spend so much time withy troubled nine year old.

Parents and spouses of ADD afflicted individuals may also find themselves taking a lot of heat for the behavior of there loved ones. Parents may be admonished by grand parents and friends and advised to discipline the child more often. Some parents may suffer from low self-esteem as the result of repeated accusations of not knowing how to raise a child. Some ADD children scream and act out so much that the neighbors and teachers suspect the parents of abuse. Teachers may also suspect a negligent or abusive family life is behind the child’s disturbed behavior. As the parent of one of these possibly ADD kids I can tell you that this is definitely not the case. I am a good mother. Still it can be hard to tell others why your kid acts up so much.