Parents whose children grapple with the symptoms that are labeled as ADHD, are, understandably, searching for the best ways to help their children overcome this.  This journey can be exhausting, overwhelming and costly in terms of time, money and emotion.   Parents often tell me that the different kinds of treatments they have tried, have brought some improvements, but not to the degree where the symptoms are truly reversed – which is what they dream about for their child. Traditional therapies available for ADHD, too often are missing one very simple but critical element which is that …

Kids of all ages, with ‘ADHD,’ absorb stress much more than other kids.

They are magnets for stress.

Children cannot learn, behave appropriately, be healthy and feel happy when they are feeling stressed.

The higher their inner stress levels, the worse their ADHD symptoms become. And the worse the symptoms become, the higher their stress levels go. And as the stress increases the brain becomes more and more unable to do what it would normally do, which is to help the child learn easily, focus, pay attention, behave positively, feel good and be calm.

Any form of treatment that does not take these facts into account, will be highly unlikely to be effective and have sustainable positive results, because by ignoring the stress factor they are ‘putting the cart in front of the horse – and the result is that kids remain stuck with the problems.

Cart before the horse

I am extremely concerned about what stress is doing to our children. I consider stress to be one of the most ignored, most misunderstood and most dangerous conditions that exists today. The immensely powerful role played by stress in children with ADHD – and in fact in ADD, OCD, ODD, depression, anxiety and much more, is too often either not properly addressed, or not addressed at all in many treatment modalities.

My research has shown that parents and teachers have been conditioned into believing that learning, behavior and mood problems in children are ‘disorders’ without acknowledging that these conditions are not disorders but rather they are symptoms created by high inner stress.  And when the inner stress is reduced and removed, the so-called ‘disorder’ goes away.

The tendency is to see this as a problem with the child.

This incorrect.  The Problem Actually Starts with YOU

Parents who visit with me  are aware of, and worry about, the stress their kids feel.  But they don’t know how to deal with this or what to do differently to help their children to stress less, be calmer, go with the flow, love life and feel great about themselves. It may or may not surprise you when I say that if a child has ADHD, the place to start healing this is through the parent-child relationship.  Stress is highly contagious.  If a parent, or both parents are stressed, the child will be stressed.  Dr. Daniel Siegel, the father of Interpersonal Neurobiology, has shown that what is happening inside the parent, will be happening inside the child.

Every moment you are with your children, you are changing their chemistry to match yours.

If you are anxious and worried, they will be too.

If you are joyful and excited, they will be too.

Joyful father and son

This scientifically proven fact means that YOU are orchestrating the chemistry in your child’s brain. It becomes vitally important then that you know how to stimulate your child’s healthy chemistry and NOT the unhealthy stress chemistry. To do this you need to know how to parent your child – how to be with your child – how to connect with your child – in ways that will reduce stress and help your child’s brain.

When I tell parents about this, they usually respond laughingly with …’Wow!  No pressure, Dr Sandy!   But consider this – the fact that parents change their children’s brains actually has HUGE possibilities for Moms and Dads to heal ADHD (as well as ADD, Anxiety, Defiance, Depression, OCD , and other conditions children grapple with).  Let me assure you that you can begin to heal your child’s ADHD,  by changing what is happening in your brain, which will change what is happening in your child’s brain. Sound complicated?  Scary?  It’s not.  It’s really so simple!

All that it requires are 7 easy-to-do steps.

Check how YOU score on these steps.

Be aware that if you want to work on healing your child’s ADHD you will need to score YES! on all of the below:

  1. You have a willingness to identify your own stress levels.
  2. You understand that your stress is changing your child’s brain chemistry.
  3. You are open to realizing that how you speak, look, sound and behave with your children, when you are stressed, changes their brain.
  4. You have the personal courage to identify why you stress the way you do.  (A clue: Did you see your own Mom and Dad doing this with?).
  5. You really, really, want to reduce your stress level both for your own sake as well as to heal your  child’s problems.
  6. You carve out time to learn how to do this and how to develop a stress-less relationship with yourself and your children.
  7. You have the courage to make real stress-reducing changes in yourself so that your child’s brain reacts with …’Phew! Thank goodness Mom / Dad are less stressed.   Now I am free to think clearly, feel good, focus, learn and behave better!TAKE NOTE!  For REAL healing to happen in your child’s brain, any changes you make to your stress level, must be the kind of changes that are clearly visible to your children.   It must be the kind of changes that your child’s brain will interpret as … 

Happy parents with two children

Something feels different about Mom/Dad
It feels good!
Mom and Dad are so calm these days
Dad is so present
They really listen to me
Mom often laughs
She seems so much happier
Dad isn’t fighting with me anymore
We discuss things calmly
They are SO relaxed and cool
Mom and Dad are such fun to be with
Mom and Dad are much happier with each other
Mom and Dad seem to be so proud of me!

You will know from my previous blog (ADHD is Not a Useful Label) that when your child feels these changes in YOU – THEY will start to feel safe, their brain chemistry will go back into healthy balance, their nervous system will become calm. And only then will their brains be able to start healing their ADHD.