Mother-child bond takes stressful toll when kid has ADHD

July 24, 2011 3 Comments »
Mother-child bond takes stressful toll when kid has ADHD

North Carolina mom Penny Williams says watching her son, Luke, 8, struggle with ADHD has made her a more understanding person


By Stephanie Pappas

Live Science

Ever since the second day her son went to kindergarten, Penny Williams has worried about him. That’s the day Williams, a real estate broker in Asheville, N.C., got her first call from her child’s teacher. Luke wasn’t ready for school, the teacher told Williams. He couldn’t sit still and didn’t want to participate. The insinuation, Williams said, was that she had failed as a parent.

Luke, now 8, would later be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurological disorder marked by distraction, disorganization, impulsivity and, as the name suggests, hyperactivity. About 3 percent to 5 percent of school-age children in the U.S. have ADHD.

Since the diagnosis, Williams has immersed herself in those children’s worlds. She edits a group blog of parents with ADHD kids at and devours books about ADHD, trying to understand her child’s mind.

“He has a really high IQ and he’s really gifted, and he comes home from school and says how stupid he is,” Williams told LiveScience, referring to Luke. “It’s hard to watch your kid struggle … It adds stress and anxiety.”

A new study finds that Williams is far from alone in her sensitivity to her son’s moods and needs. Parents of children with ADHD are more in tune to their child’s behavior than parents with neurotypical children, according to research published in June in the Journal of Family Psychology. All parents’ moods ebb and flow based on how their children are behaving, said study researcher Candice Odgers, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine. But the link between a mother’s mood and her child’s behavior is stronger when the kid has ADHD.

The problem is that those ups and downs take a toll on parents.

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  1. Jennifer July 24, 2011 at 11:58 pm -

    I believe you can improve brain function so that kids with neurobehavioral disorders are in better control of their own outbursts and emotions. Here is an article you can read about improving brain sync in children and how that contributes to better function and decreased behavioral symptoms. My daughter has SPD and working on brain function through targeted exercises (no medication needed) has changed her life. Here is the article!

  2. cincomom July 25, 2011 at 12:41 am -

    Thanks Jennifer! I’m happy that this technology exists to help kids like your daughter. I wish you the best.

  3. ram November 23, 2011 at 9:09 am -

    Kids with ADHD need a lot of patience and understanding, which is a fact. If you are a parent having a hard time parenting your child then I suggest you check some interesting suggestion here.