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How can cognitive behavior therapy benefit parents of children with ADHD?

Because having a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects the whole family, you, your partner, your diagnosed child, and your other children will benefit if you apply some of the principles of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to yourself. Because of your engagement in the mental health and school systems, you may have come to feel as if you have made some serious mistakes as a parent or that you are somehow to blame for your child's difficulty. And this feeling can have a serious negative impact on you as you may begin to doubt not only your abilities as a parent but your own worth. You may begin to feel that you're not good enough or that no matter how hard you try, you cannot do well as a parent. You may begin to feel inferior to other parents. You may feel ashamed when meeting with teachers and doctors about your child's behavior.

If you start to feel depressed and lose interest in activities that you used to enjoy, you can benefit from trying some cognitive behavioral interventions on yourself. Because your child with ADHD is so sensitive, she will be dramatically affected by your state of mind. Recent research has shown that a mother's depression has a serious impact on her child's behavior. The good news is that when a mother's depression improves, the child's behavior improves too. According to pediatric psychiatrist Scott Shannon, "Researchers also found that kids of moms with improved depression showed marked reductions in their symptoms. A full third of the labeled kids lost their labels when their moms got better" So anything you can do to help yourself will indirectly help your child, in part because as you help yourself you will be more patient and loving toward your child. You will also have more energy to spend quality time with your child and build the relationship that will be the foundation for coping with and transforming the diagnosis of ADHD.

Try to remember that the more you blame yourself, the more you'll feel guilty about your child's ADHD, and the more your energy will be diverted away from helping your child. It can sometimes be difficult to see how this dynamic works, as guilt pulls at your attention. The CBT exercises will help you discover how guilt and self- blame work against your efforts to help your child thrive.
The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

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The Gift of ADHD: How to Transform Your Child's Problems into Strengths

As a parent, you already know that your child has many gifts. What you may not know is that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) related symptoms—the very qualities that lead him or her...

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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.