Become the Dad Your Child Needs

Accepting your child's attention deficit isn't always easy, especially for tough, no-nonsense fathers. This mom helped it happen for her husband and their son.

Beaming dad with arms over his middle-school ADHD son.

It is hard for this thick-skinned, no-nonsense man to understand that our son can't "just" eat or "just" accomplish his tasks faster.

— Kelly Quinones Miller

When our son Javi was diagnosed with ADHD, I never dreamed that our biggest challenge would be my husband. It is hard for this thick-skinned, no-nonsense man to understand that our son can't "just" eat or "just" accomplish his tasks faster. So I developed some strategies to help my husband be a nurturing force in his son’s life.

I spend lots of time making it possible for them to participate in sports activities together. My husband coaches Javi's football team and takes him to basketball practice. I give them a reprieve from their chores, so they can toss a ball around.

I don't excuse my husband from participating in doctor's appointments. We either take turns going to therapy, or we go to the sessions together. When we are both participants in managing Javi's disorder, neither of us feels overwhelmed or left out.

Fathers of children with ADHD are less likely to confide their feelings to others. They feel like strangers in a strange land. But for almost every mother of a child with ADHD, there's a husband, boyfriend, or a father figure standing right beside her. I encourage these guys to open up to each other. It's hilarious to listen to men cut up as they share those heartbreaking-in-the-moment-but-ridiculous-now stories!

Claim your free digital copy of 13 Parenting Strategies for ADHD Kids for expert advice on using positive reinforcement, defusing explosive situations, and more. Plus, get our newsletter on parenting ADHD kids.

We never share e-mail addresses.

This article appears in the Winter 2012 issue of ADDitude.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.

To connect with other dads raising kids with attention deficit, visit the Parents of ADHD Children support group on ADDConnect.

TAGS: ADHD Parents, Talking About ADD


What do you think of this article? Share your comments on, ADDitude's community site. Check out the new ADHD Medication User Reviews and the ADHD Adults Support Group. Your fellow ADDers want to hear from you!

Copyright © 1998 - 2015 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 108 West 39th Street, Suite 805, New York, NY 10018