Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bad parenting or bad parents?

ADHT or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been in the news recently. There has been much talk about the environmental causes to this disorder but Cardiff University are telling us that it is now down to genetic factors. This is important because of the criticism that it is caused by bad parenting. Previously environmental factors have included such things as pre-natal smoking or pre-term stress for the mother.

Professor Anita Thapar leading the present research wrote "Too often, people dismiss ADHD as being down to bad parenting or poor diet... Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease ..." I am not a professor but I don't think life is this simple (and probably she doesn't either). One mother on the BBC was pleased with the results of this research because ADHT was not caused by bad parenting and the children are not evil or naughty.

Well to me it sounds like a hollow victory. According to this report the cause is not bad parenting, but if it is genetic then it is caused by bad parents. There is naughty behaviour and if we call it anything else then it becomes acceptable. Nobody would condemn children as evil but if we lose our sense of right and wrong then anything goes. No child should be called evil and for that matter they shouldn't even be called naughty, but we have to tell them what is right and what is wrong, what is nice and what is naughty.

Change the world.


  1. Apparently only 14% of the children sampled showed the genetic glitch, but then again, aren't all statistics massaged to suit the person presenting them?
    I have a great nephew with ADHD, and his is definitely made worse by diet

  2. I saw that too Sea, which makes it all the more surprising to find a quote (perhaps a misquote) from the professor.