As an ADHD parent, one of the most hurtful statements someone can say to you is, “Is it ADHD or bad parenting?” In that statement, whether, it’s a family member, a friend, or a stranger, they minimize the diagnosis of your child and the struggles of parents dealing with ADHD. It makes it feel like you can’t do anything right, and you’re all alone in parenting an ADHD child.
As someone who has ADHD, I find it mind-blowing when someone feels the need to tell me that ADHD doesn’t exist. ADHD is not a “made-up diagnosis.” ADHD is a real disorder that is recognized by the American Psychological Association and comes with real symptoms and behavior. ADHD behavior has been studied since the late 1800s.
To those who say we’ve gone overboard in the ADHD diagnosis, there is some truth in that. An ADHD diagnosis requires a child to exhibit specific behavior and to be diagnosed by a medical professional, but sometimes a parent or a teacher gives a child the “diagnosis” of ADHD. While well-meaning, it serves to bolster the opinion of those who don’t believe that ADHD is real or that it’s just bad parenting.
If you believe your child may have ADHD, it’s essential to make sure they get a diagnosis from a medical professional.
While ADHD behavior can be made worse by inconsistent parenting, bad parenting doesn’t cause your child to have ADHD. Having a child who acts up doesn’t make you a bad parent (though we know there are days when you feel like it does).
The reason many believe ADHD is due to bad parents is that the symptoms of ADHD make ADHD discipline more difficult. ADHD children don’t always behave in like other children.
The parenting skills we reference in these podcasts will help you handle your child’s behavior in a positive way. As you feel confident in your ability to manage your child’s behavior, you’ll be better prepared to handle the hurtful comment of “Is it ADHD or bad parenting?”
Parents dealing with ADHD don’t need the blame game. They need people to believe them. They need support. They need resources. Parenting an ADHD child requires you to become an advocate for your child and to help bring ADHD awareness to family and friends on what ADHD behavior and diagnosis mean.
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