Childrearing

New Study Says That ADHD Children Are More Responsive To Their Mother’s Mood

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Children have always been good at adapting to their environment. Most kids can read the moods of the adults around them. No matter how much I try to hide it, my daughter normally misbehaves more when I’m stressed. She can just tell that something is off and she reacts, often badly. I think most parents would assume that their mood closely mirrors the mood of their children.

Some mother-children teams are more in tune than others though. New research published in the June issue of the Journal of Family Psychology says that ADHD children are more responsive to their mother’s mood than their neurotypical peers. Researchers looked at journals made by both the mother and the children, and found that ADHD little ones and their parents understood each other’s moods more and reacted strongly to changes.

On the parent’s end, I feel like this is a logical result. Parents who know that their child has a behavioral disorder will spend a lot of time researching the way their mind works and studying their behavior for signs and clues. It would make sense that these parents could correctly interpret the different motivations behind their kid’s behavior.

The fact that children responded more intensely to their mother’s mood is even more interesting. It could have major implications on the way ADHD children are treated by medical professionals. If these kids have such a large reaction to their parents emotions, part of their treatment will need to focus on educating parents as well as their kids. This study’s findings reinforce what our weekly column, The Full Spectrum, has often demonstrated, that dealing with a child’s neurological disorder is a family struggle. It effects more than a single child.

Families with ADHD children may have to be more careful with stress and its effects. But they also share a connection that most other families don’t. Just more proof that each child is special and unique, with their own set of challenges and their own set of skills.