Positive parenting helps kids with ADHD, finds study

Positive parenting helps kids with ADHD, finds study

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental illnesses in children. Parents often find it difficult to bring up kids with ADHD. As it is quite difficult to manage the symptoms of ADHD, parents need to find the right approaches to overcome the “hyperactive” and “out of control” attitude of their children rather than being disheartened by the disorder.

As the symptoms of ADHD are merely seen as the mischievous conduct of children, the disorder remains undiagnosed most of the time. Usually, the warning signs of ADHD in a child are identified during his/her school days. Moreover, there are no single test to determine ADHD. Another major problem is the inability of a child to comprehend various emotions and behavioral changes inflicted by the disorder. This increases the onus of the parents to spend time with their kids suffering from ADHD.

Now, a study, published recently in the journal Clinical Psychological Science and conducted by researchers from the Ohio State University, revealed that reduction in harsh parenting techniques, such as yelling, criticizing, corporal punishment, etc., has the potential to ensure the emotional and biological regulation of children with ADHD.

Although earlier studies have established the association between parenting and reduction in ADHD symptoms, the current research is the first one to link positive parenting with biological changes in children. The findings of the study are based on the examination of parents of 99 preschoolers who underwent parenting coaching sessions to learn effective problem-solving and positive parenting techniques. While half of the parents underwent 20 weekly two-hour sessions, another half attended 10 similar sessions.

Additionally, around 76 percent of the preschoolers were boys suffering from higher rates of hyperactivity and impulsivity. The study analyzed the behaviors of parents who responded positively to their kids’ problems. In order to determine the level of impact of the techniques learned in parenting sessions, children were told to meet their therapists periodically. The researchers also analyzed the changes in anger management and emotional regulation in the children.

Harsh punishment should be avoided

Before participating in the study, parents tried enhancing the behavioral skills in their children by engaging in play sessions, including block-building exercise. However, such activities failed to cause any relevant biological changes in their wards. On the contrary, positive parenting, including praise, encouragement, problem solving, etc., improved heart activity among children. In fact, even comparatively less harsh parenting ensured positive outcomes in children with ADHD. Moreover, greater levels of improvement were seen in the parents who attended 20 weeks of positive parenting classes compared to those who underwent only 10.

According to the researchers, the study will play a pivotal role in changing the acrimonious relationship between parents and children with ADHD. It offers a ray of hope to the parents of such children by recommending them to overcome differences and concentrate upon assisting each other. More than medication, the study highlights that the essential elements of ADHD treatment are behavioral therapy and counseling. However, one of the major drawbacks of the study was the absence of the control group of students and children.

Recovery road map

The findings of the study will encourage parents to try determining the warning signs of ADHD in early stages. Moreover, they should remove stigma attached to ADHD by linking it with biological changes than with behavioral changes. It is essential to understand the problems of children and respond accordingly. By identifying the symptoms, recognizing their feelings and coaching them to be in control, parents can help their children deal with ADHD.

If your loved one is suffering from the symptoms of ADHD, contact the Texas Mental Health Recovery Helpline.  Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-596-4708 to know about the best mental health treatment centers in Texas. Alternatively, you can chat online with one of our representatives to connect to a state-of-the-art mental health clinic in Texas.

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