You’ve probably heard of ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This common condition causes a variety of symptoms organized into three categories, including:
- Inattentive: difficulty concentrating and focusing
- Hyperactive-impulsive: trouble sitting still or acting quickly
- Combined: a combination of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive behaviors
When a child has ADHD, the symptoms they display can vary from mild to severe, and they can be difficult to manage. As a result, having a child with ADHD can put a lot of stress on families, leading to relationship problems, increased conflict, and even higher rates of divorce and depression.
At Dr. Soos Pediatric in Dublin, Georgia, we understand the challenges that come with ADHD.
Here are a few of the ways ADHD can impact the members of your family and how you can help manage it.
The child with ADHD
Contrary to popular belief, ADHD isn’t caused by poor parenting, lack of discipline, or too much sugar. While the exact cause isn’t known, it’s typically due to a combination of factors, including genetics, environment, or the central nervous system.
When a child has ADHD, their symptoms can cause a variety of challenges, like:
- Poor self-esteem
- Problems in school
- Higher rates of injuries or accidents
- Difficulty interacting or fitting in socially
- Increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse
To help your child cope with their symptoms, you should get a diagnosis as early as possible if you suspect ADHD. If they require medication, make sure they take it as directed and watch for adverse side effects. You should also work closely with their school teachers and counselors to help create a supportive learning environment for your child and family unit as a whole.
The parent of a child with ADHD
Parenting can be hard enough without the added challenges of ADHD. If your child has ADHD, we recommend learning as much as possible about the condition through classes or training events that offer valuable resources.
We also suggest:
- Finding a support group
- Participating in therapy sessions, alone or with your family
- Learning stress management techniques, like meditation and deep breathing
Remember, ADHD isn’t easy, but you’re not alone. If conflicts come up, we can help connect you with resources to help manage your child’s diagnosis and preserve your physical and emotional health throughout the process.
The siblings of a child with ADHD
It’s easy to overlook the siblings of children with ADHD, but it impacts them, too. In many cases, the brothers and sisters of a child with ADHD feel neglected or ignored because their sibling seems to be the priority. Some kids even feel guilty or responsible for their sibling’s diagnosis — like they did something to cause it. The stress of ADHD in the family can also cause siblings to express anger, embarrassment, anxiety, and engage in attention-seeking behavior as a result of feeling neglected.
To make sure the siblings of a child with ADHD feel supported, we recommend:
- Spending quality time alone with each of your children
- Cultivating a unique relationship with each of your children
- Having honest and candid conversations with them about ADHD
- Being aware of their feelings and acknowledging them as real things
If you start to see the signs of depression in a sibling of a child with ADHD, we also recommend getting professional advice to help address their unique needs.
To learn more about ADHD and how it impacts the entire family, contact us by calling 478-272-0203 or by booking online today.