ADHD and the Effects on the Family: Parents
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can affect families in different ways, depending on the severity of ADHD symptoms, family make up, and knowledge of the illness. Even with adequate knowledge of ADHD, managing a child with the symptoms can be very frustrating. Often, this frustration can spill over into other parts of the lives of parents and affect their other roles, such as being an employee, son or daughter, husband or wife.
Children with ADHD require extra attention, as they often have therapy or psychiatric appointments and planned and unplanned school meetings. In the home setting, these children receive extra attention because they are often being redirected or parents will use some type of reward system to entice their charges to follow parental directions and complete chores and homework.
The extra time that the child with ADHD receives sometimes results in taking time from the parent’s work schedule, and time from their other relationships such as with their partner, their own parents or other children. This may lead to parent fatigue, resentments, guilt and disputes with their parents over how to bring up children.
Single parents who have ADHD children may experience the same effects as two parent families. The extra time that the single parent gives to the child with ADHD may be even more significant if there are fewer supports in place. Further, the single parent may have an additional parental role to play in the child’s life, thus causing more family stress.