Could my parenting style have caused my child's ADHD?

Irwin Isaacs
No, ADHD is predetermined by genetic factors.  However, your parenting style can have a significant impact on the degree to which your child's ADHD interferes with his academic achievement, and the way in which his self esteem is effected. 
I'm always amazed at how much guilt we parents are willing to assume for our children's behavior. No matter how many times parents are reassured that ADHD is a neurological condition that children are BORN WITH, we still worry that we've done something to cause it.

The good news is that there IS a lot we can do to help a child with ADHD. Learning about the condition from books, websites, and trained specialists will help you gain tricks and tips to help your child be successful and happy. Consistency and a long-term committment will lead to the most improvements.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Parents of kids with ADHD often blame themselves, thinking their parenting style caused the condition. Mom, Dad, stop kicking yourselves. Study after study shows that parenting style doesn’t cause ADHD. On the other hand, studies also show that parenting style does make a difference when it comes to helping your child. Parent training and participation in behavioral therapy with your child improves everyone’s ability to cope, learn, and thrive.

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
The National Resource Center on ADHD acknowledges that some parenting styles may increase symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the center states that parenting styles cannot be the sole cause of ADHD.

ADHD is a genetic disorder based in the brain. Some believe that when women smoke or drink during pregnancy, their children may be more likely to develop ADHD. Other causes of ADHD may include prematurity, low body birth weight, and brain injury. Lead poisoning may also be a factor. 

If you are having trouble parenting and disciplining your child, help is available. You can take part in behavioral modification training classes for parents to help your child behave better at home and at school.
While ADHD is a problem with a chemical imbalance of the brain, there are certain environmental triggers that can make the disease more evident. Parenting styles that help to control the symptoms include scheduled play time, consistent routines, and minimizing distractions.

Continue Learning about ADD/ADHD Causes



While we don't know the exact cause of ADD/ADHD, there are some things we do know. Genetics play a strong role in whether or not someone will be diagnosed with ADHD; in fact, it is one of the most commonly inherited disorders in t...

he human race. Some studies also point to environmental factors -- such smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy -- that could increase the risk of ADHD.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.