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ADHD. Isn't it just caused by bad parenting?


Certainly there is some scientific thought that it can be passed on genetically but that's not something a parent has any control over is it?

"Individuals diagnosed with ADHD may have close blood relatives with the disorder. Scientists believe that ADHD is a complex disorder that probably involves at least two genes. Non-genetic causes such as abnormal brain development, brain injury or environmental factors are also believed to play a role in the disorder"

National Human Genome Research Institute

If ADHD brains are physically different then surely parenting can't affect the physiological make up of the human brain?

"The differences observed were most prominent in the brains of children with ADHD, but less obvious in adults with the disorder. Based on this, the researchers propose that ADHD is a disorder of the brain, and suggest that delays in the development of several brain regions are characteristic of ADHD.16 Feb 2017"

Definitely bad parenting (or really parents who haven't been shown how to parent an ADHD child or don't know that they even have an ADHD child) can make it worse I agree with that hands down. To be fair though, untrained parents have the potential to make any child worse ? Equally so do professionals, schools, doctors etc etc. I like you was born a baby, not a parent. I learnt how to parent by example, trial and error and an internal moral sense of right and wrong. I've also made mistakes. Any parent who claims they haven't made mistakes to my way of thinking is not telling the truth. I've not personally met anyone yet claiming that they have been the perfect parent. Have you? I do know some that make it look like they are perfect on Facebook :P

So we all widely accept that poor parenting has the potential to make any child worse off even if there is nothing wrong with them in the first place. In extremes, it's very damaging and we all know and accept that.

Most parents with ADHD kids with oppositional defiant traits just don't know what to do - they are not necessarily 'bad'. They have probably already tried everything they can think of themselves and usually they are tired and very worn down. With ADHD children usually goes poor sleep and that takes it toll on everyone day in and day out. Tired, worn down parents are not working at an optimum. Throw in poverty, money worries, lack of support at school, relationship troubles, poor housing, shrinking public resources and lack of support generally on top of that and you've got yourself a melting pot.

I've learnt to choose my battles. I've also had to get creative with my parenting. I'm afraid that the usual approaches often don't work and so don't apply. I know because I've tried them a hundred times already! I've got 6 children and they are all totally different. I've got some that are so well behaved they make me look like THE perfect parent. I've got others who are not so well behaved some of the time. Same mum, same parenting, same environment, different results - go figure!

The other conundrum to the opening question is that not all children with ADHD are badly behaved (there are three types remember). I wonder then what causes those types of ADHD? Clearly it's not bad parenting if they are well behaved? Does bad parenting cause the forgetfulness, disorganisation, day dreaming or lack of attention? When you are an adult and you are exhibiting those traits, do people cry "bad parenting that caused that"! No, because that would be silly.

I've got a little four year old boy and butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. He is the sweetest, kindest little child that you could wish to meet. He says please, thank you and tells me every morning at 6.00 am when he wakes me up that I'm beautiful and he loves me. He brings me flowers home from school and beautiful pictures, paintings and models. He's interested in everything and he loves to talk! In fact he doesn't stop talking. So much, that his teachers ask me how I cope at home! Up until a year ago he had a stammer. That was because his brain works so fast that his mouth couldn't physically operate fast enough to get the words out. But no, there is not a naughty bone in his body. He doesn't sleep and he can outrun the duracell bunny, but naughty, no he's not.

I tell you what I think causes children to be naughty or at least what causes MY children to play up. Children who are not getting their special educational needs met appropriately. My children act up most at home when school is falling apart and they are not coping well or are unhappy at school. I never saw it for what it was at first and I looked to blame myself. Then the penny dropped. Now I see it straight away and it's the first causation I look for when we get a behaviour spike. It's not always school but it's always something and they don't always tell you, sometimes they show you!

No, I don't think bad parenting causes ADHD. Actually I don't think blame is helpful at all in these things. Blame creates shame and it's all negative and unhelpful. Shame creates two reactions, denial and anger or a sense of failure which can lead to simply giving up. Neither are helpful reactions. This is something I'd quite like an ADHD professional to do a guest post on at some stage. We will get to that!

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