MANY ASPECTS OF ADHD can impact behavior and performance, and the traits will impact each child differently. Always remember what it must feel like for these children every day—think of the chaos in their brains. I like the image of different colors of paint swirling together—beautiful, but chaotic at the same time.

Our ability to process information, perform effectively, and regulate our emotions is impacted by what we are expected to manage. As Dr. Russell Barkley analogizes, we all have a limited fuel tank of energy available for controlling our emotions and responding to our world. However, for people with ADHD, because of their inherent deficits in emotional self-regulation, their fuel tank of their inherent deficits in emotional self-regulation, their fuel tank is more sensitive to the impact of their environment, expectations, and experiences. The more they are in a situation where they have to use executive functions that may be weak for the task, the more they deplete their self-regulation fuel to approach their world.

STRESS FOR OUR KIDS comes from many sources—our yelling, our fighting, and our pressuring them to meet our expectations. Then there is also academic, social, and extracurricular stress. For some people, certain levels of stress can be a motivator. In the short run it can actually get some people to comply, focus, work harder. But guess what? Did you ever notice that all of this well-intended strategy of applying pressure might actually have the opposite effect?

To view this article in its entirety, click here. It was orginally posted on, written by Cindy Goldrich EdM.