Understanding ADD and ADHD: Family Life

It is time for ADD and ADHD to come out of the shadows. When someone in a family is dealing with ADD or ADHD, everyone in the family benefits from information and understanding about ADD and ADHD.  With awareness of what behaviors are controllable and what are beyond self-discipline, inaccurate assumptions of intentions can be avoided.

Frustrations with ADD and ADHD

For the person with ADD and ADHD, one of the greatest frustrations is the mistaken interpretation of  intentions.  When their intent is not aligned with the outcome, the person experiences extreme frustration with self and others.  When everyone involved understands that distractibility, impulsivity, or hyperactivity may have played a role in the person’s behavior or communication, family members can choose to respond in a more effective manner.  Also when the person who is trying to manage ADHD symptoms acknowledges the impact on behavior and communication, the choice to not react defensively becomes an option.

 ADD and ADHD Responsibilities and Strategies

Of course, along with understanding ADD and ADHD comes responsibility.  All members of the family have the opportunity to alter the manner in which they interact.  Awareness and self-monitoring are critical components in avoiding misdirected blame and emotional outbursts.  As simply as calling for a “pause” before responding allows time to examine intentions and assess the desired outcome of words or actions.

With accurate information and the acknowledgment that ADHD does not only impact the individual but also every family member, families can develop strategies to support each other.  In addition, the communication skills and intentional behaviors that are so beneficial in loving relationships within the family are also highly effective in managing life outside of the home.

Resources for the Family

There are numerous resources to assist a family in moving ADD and ADHD out of the shadows of the unknown and into the light of understanding.  School systems often have specially trained personnel who can provide information or direct someone to local resources.  Insurance providers often can assist by providing a list of professional therapists who specialize in working with clients who are diagnosed as ADD or ADHD.  Internet searches will provide an abundance of information about ADD and ADHD.  Dr. Edward Hallowell, M.D., who is a renown expert on ADD and ADHD offers excellent feedback and information regarded the family dealing with a member who has ADD or ADHD.

Whatever method is selected to gain understanding of ADD and ADHD, all family members will benefit when informed and operating in the light of knowledge.

For well over 20 years, Life Tree Counseling has been a, “soft place to land” for so many people. We’d like to help you, too. You can call us right now at 972-234-6634, and we promise to return your call within 60 minutes. Or, visit our website to schedule a time that’s convenient for you, with one of our counselors.

Kathleen Mills

Kathleen is a creative and gifted therapist who has extensive experience in helping children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of issues.