I interviewed a retired Baptist missionary pastor who has an adult daughter with ADHD. I asked him about his perspecive on his struggles and understanding of ADHD from a biblical perspective and his own experience.
1. What is it like for a Bible believing Christian to have an adult child with ADHD? As parents, we have to constantly remind ourselves that ADHD creates unique challenges. Some of those challenges are: forgetfulness, the inability to follow directions in order given, maturity level is several years behind, and quick to react negatively when constructive criticism is given.
2. From a biblical perspective what were your concerns about getting your kid having a diagnosis of ADHD. When our daughter became part of our family (December 2001) she were five years old. ADHD is not typically diagnosis at that age. A few years later we realized some odd behavior: the inability to focus, sleep issues, and compulsive behavior. Christian counseling, at that time, rejected any and all neurological issues such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, and Autism. When Christian parents were confronted with a child with these types issues, at that time, Christian counseling made you feel that your poor parenting was the problem, lack of proper training or discipline. Today, brain scans (MRI) show a distinct difference ADHD, Autism, and what is considered a normal brain.
3. How would you advise Christians with ADHD children to finding a balance in discipline? This is a difficult question. Many Christian today still reject the idea of ADHD. Some training methods we used have had limited success (Prov.22:6). ADHD has a problem with compulsiveness, which usually gets a child into trouble. Understanding some of the symptoms will allow a parent a better approach to training and discipline. A lot more information is now available about this condition. I would recommend creating a consistent schedule, exercise, and the possibility of medication (1 Cor.14:40).
4. What blessings have you had having a child with ADHD? I don’t know if it is a result of ADHD, but she has a marvelous gift in art and a higher than average intelligence. Both of these gifts could be developed if she worked at them (Matt.25:29).