When ADD Kids have ADD Parents – Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
I often hear parents complain, ” I think my child has ADD, they can’t concentrate or control themselves, and some times I think I might have it too, we have the same problem, and when they combine, things get worse and worse”. Also often heard is ” I can’t do everything myself, and when my husband (or wife) gets home, they’re the same (as the child) way, and they just make it worse”. These complaints are really two sides of the same coin.
A lot of ADD is genetic, and while the manifestation of the disorder may be inconsistent, it has been estimated that 40-60% of children with ADD have at least one parent with the same disorder. ADD in the family is one of the hardest things to deal with; the combination of both a child and a parent with ADD can become a disaster. While the ADD parent can empathize and understand the difficulties of the child, the combination can be extremely overwhelming.
Three aspects of parenting are particularly important in this sense. Parental Monitoring: parents with ADD have a difficult time monitoring (tracking where a child is, what they are doing, and whom they are with) their children. Difficulties in this area increase focus and/or behavior problems in ADD children.
Inconsistent Discipline: (refers to variability in parents’ responses to child non-compliance) ADD parents’ difficulties here foster further problems with self-control in their ADD children. Problem Solving: Parents with ADD provide solutions with lower levels of planning and effectiveness, exacerbating their ADD child’s difficulty organizing and planning.
There are some additional problems inherent in the ADD parent-ADD child combination. Overloading of the responsibilities of the non-ADD parent is one. An often bigger problem is a possible denial of the ADD child’s problem by the ADD parent. They may not acknowledge their child’s problem, since it is so similar to their own challenges. This denial often boomerangs and leads to denial of help for both persons.
Effectively treating children with ADD may frequently necessitate treatment of an ADD parent as well. It is very helpful to the parent, all their children, their non-ADD spouse, and of course, essential for their ADD child.
While simultaneous treatment is best, it is also beneficial to treat one first (usually the child), and then later, the other.
One method of treatment is Neurofeedback, a non-drug, painless, side effect-free procedure in which the person learns to re-train the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once the treatment is complete, no further training is necessary.
To request information on the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD), Mild to Moderate Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Chronic Depression, Chronic Anxiety, and Peak Performance Training contact:Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback 1075 Yorba Place Suite 105 Placentia, CA 92870 714.990.6536