Realistic Expectations in Parenting an ADHD Child

(excerpt from the book The Hyperactive Child Book: Treating Educating and Living With Your ADHD Child - Strategies That Really Work by Patricia Kennedy, Lief Terdal, Ph.D. and Lydia Fusetti, M.D.)

Throughout this book, we continually emphasize the importance of giving the child a psoitive self-concept. Well, your self concept as a parent is important, too. Just as the hyperactive child constantly suffers blows to his self-esteem, so do parents. As recently as the 1950s, it was thought hyperactivity was caused by bad parenting. Even now, educators, neighbors, and family members may feel free to tell you there is nothing wrong with your child tha a good spanking could not cure. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As explained in the early chapters of this book, hyperactivity is related to a physiological dif7ference in the brain. There is a physical reason why our children behave differently. Whil good parenting can go a long way toward helping your ADHD child, you parenting style did not cause your child to become hyperactive.

Knowing that fact helps, no doubt, but it is still difficult to have a positive view of yourself as a parent when you expect your hyperactive child to respond as "normal" children do. You have to look at this child differently, and you haveto look at your expectations of yourself differently, too. You don't have to be a perfect "TV family" with a perfect house and perfect children. What you must do is maintain a healthy balance in your life by making time for yourself, your spouse, and your other children. You will also want to redefine parenting, as you can no longer define your success as a parent by how well this child behaves.

the above passage is the conclusion of Part 5: Chapter 12: Outcomes, what happens to our ADHD children when they grow up?

It is followed by . . . Part 6: Chapter 13: Just for Parents: Parental Survival: How to Relieve Stress . . .

More about the book: The Hyperactive Child Book

About the authors

List of Factors that Influence Outcomes for Better or Worse 

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© 1998, 1999 Charles K. Kenyon

Attention Deficit Hyperativity Disorder is sometimes known as Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD, ADHD, and AD/HD. In the past it was called minimal brain dysfunction, among other things. This paragraph is added to this page to make it more likely that a search engine will pick up this page if you are looking for information using one of those terms.