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The Beauty of a Family Affected by ADHD

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces,” someone once noted, and, family therapist Dan Griffin, PhD tends to agree. But most masterpieces are not fully realized at once; it can take a long time to get even little things right. And things always take a little longer in a family affected by ADHD.

Although an individual is diagnosed with ADHD, Dr. Griffin finds it more useful to think of the family as “having” ADHD, with most of it concentrated in one person, and often, two. A family-systems approach is often the most effective way to help with the more stubborn ADHD-related problems, especially when behavioral approaches and medication don’t seem to be enough.

Most beleaguered families relentlessly strive to solve unrelenting problems, and they often get stuck. That is, the solution they are using becomes more problematic than the problem itself. For example, many people assume that parents should be able to control their kids’ behavior, and that a good parent is consistently able to do so with the typical child-rearing repertoire. ADHD is an unyielding challenge to that assumption. The more parents try to control the behavior of a kid with ADHD by the usual methods, the worse they feel, and the kid’s behavior doesn’t get any better.

Continue reading Your Family is a Masterpiece ... Here's Why in Attention magazine.

This article appeared in ADHD Weekly on February 15, 2018.

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