Parenting can be a hard task for anyone. It is particularly stressful for parents rearing a child diagnosed with ADHD. Theule, Wiener, Tannock and Jenkins (2010) indicated that parents of children with ADHD reported significantly more stress than their counterparts.
Fortunately these parents are not alone, and there has been a lot of research completed in order to look at ways to decrease the challenges associated with raising children with ADHD. Specifically, some parenting training has been found to have positive effects on the prognosis of ADHD. Vaughn et al. (2015) showed that parents who engaged in an 8 week Behavioral Parenting program had observed a decrease in child symptomatology and indicated and increase in their ability to parent their children.
Additionally, Au et al. (2014) conducted research on Chinese parents of children who had been diagnosed with ADHD and had participated in a Positive Parenting Program (PPP). According to Au et al. (2014) there were several notable positive differences between the experimental group: PPP program and the control group. Parents whom had attended the level 4 Triple P parenting program noted an increase in self-efficacy in managing disruptive behaviors, and reported improved personal measures on mental health variables such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
Cassone (2015) mentioned the effectiveness of enrolling children in a mindfulness-training program. Mindfulness was found to assist these clients in sitting with their impulsive thoughts and potential hyperactivity. The study found that these patients were better at regulating their attention processes including orienting, alerting, and executive attention (Cassone, 2015). Van der Oord, Bogels, and Peijnenburg (2012) conducted a similar study by evaluating not only children with ADHD but simultaneously with their parents in an 8-week mindfulness training program as well. The parents in this latter study might not have otherwise enrolled in such a program, although they may have undiagnosed ADHD as this disease has a hereditary component (Van der Oord, Bogels, & Peijnenburg, 2012). The results of the study yielded a significant reduction in overactive parenting and parental stress.
Hence many new research favors including the parents in the therapy process of treating ADHD in children for several reasons. In many cases, the parents may be inadvertently be behaving in ways that mimic ADHD because he/she may also be unknowingly suffering the disorder due to its heritability component. This may play a negative role on the parents’ ability to more effectively parent the child, as well as be more likely to be overwhelmed by the task of parenting. Hence, it is especially beneficial for parents who may be suffering from ADHD, as well as their ADHD diagnosed offspring to engage in mindfulness-based practices in order to better manage the symptoms of ADHD. Most parents would also benefit from additional support and knowledge about parenting by engaging in training such as behavioral parenting training and Triple P training.
Parents have the power within themselves to gain information and skills in order to better help themselves in their parenting skills and overall health, which will ultimately assist them in helping their children with the struggles associated with ADHD.
Au, A., Lau, Kam-Mei, Wong, A., Lam, C., Leung, C., L., J., & Lee, Y.K. (2014). The efficacy of a group Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) for Chinese parents with a child diagnosed with ADHD in Hong Kong: A pilot randomized controlled study. Australian Psychologist, 49(3), 151-162. doi:10.1111/ap.12053
Cassone, A.R. (2015). Evidence-based treatment for ADHD within families. Journal of Attention Disorders, 19(2), 147-157. doi: 10.1177/1087054713488438
Loren, R.E., Vaughn, A.J., Langberg, J.M., Cyran, J.E., Proano-Raps, T., Smolyansky, B.H., Tamm, L., & Epstein, J.N. (2015). Journal of Attention Disorders, 19(2), 158-166. doi:10.1177/1087054713484175
Theule, J., Wiener, J., Tannock, R., & Jenkins, J.M. (2010). Parenting stress in families of children with ADHD: A meta-analysis. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 21(1) 1-15. doi 10.1177/1063426610387433
Van der Oord, S., Bogels, S.M., & Peijnenburg, D. (2012). The effectiveness of mindfulness training for children with ADHD and mindful parenting for their parents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21(1), 139-147. doi 10.1007/s10826-011-9457-0
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA