Douglas Cootey, a single father to four daughters, works hard to meet the challenges of managing depression, ADHD, and chronic motor tic disorders. He describes his frantic but fun-filled life surrounded by his loving daughters as a “living sitcom.”

posted: Monday February 1st - 9:30am

It’s a Landslide! How I Face All Those To-Do’s with a Smile and a Strategy

Stuff was falling through the cracks, including myself, when I figured out how to seal them all up.

Completing my To-Do List with Adult ADHD – Without Panicking
I have a confession to make. Sometimes I don’t manage being a dad with ADHD very well. Sometimes life piles up on me, and I have a hard time getting out from under it. This past half year has been particularly challenging because on top of my own disability (chronic motor tic disorder) and my youngest daughter going through volatile changes due to her learning disability,...
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posted: Monday December 7th - 9:30am

The Panic Button: Why ADHDers Should Never Hit It

Who could forget the day that I overreacted and sent my daughter to school with a painted cat face, the week before Halloween?

When in Doubt, Don’t Panic: Tips for Parents with ADHD
It is amazing to me how much damage a moment of panic does to my otherwise nicely organized morning. I have routines. I have to-do lists. What more could I need? My hyperactivity usually has a wonderful upside, where I can hit the ground running while juggling six balls, then catch another ball in stride. I can be a little intense to be around when I’m...
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posted: Tuesday October 20th - 1:47pm

How I Get My Foot Out of My ADHD Mouth

Sometimes I wish the cat got my tongue, and when he doesn’t, I apologize and hope my girls can forgive my impulsive gaffes.

Impulse Control for Adults with ADHD: Foot-in-Mouth Disorder
A reader recently wrote to me about her dad’s penchant for putting his foot in his mouth. She appreciated how knowing about his ADHD helped her understand his colorful moments. I wondered, “Do my children have the same level of understanding?” I give them plenty of opportunity to experience my own deft skill at stuffing my mouth with feet. I recalled a conversation I had a few...
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posted: Monday September 28th - 9:30am

New, Different, Shiny: A Sure-Fire Way to Break the Grip of Hyperfocus

Get through to your child with ADHD when she tunes you out.

Breaking Through My Child’s ADHD Hyperfocus
You know that moment where you call your child and quickly rifle through all your other children’s names before finally settling on the right one? For years I thought my name was “Matphildouglas!” (with an exclamation point). Maybe you have only one child and confuse her name with your pet or significant other a lot. It’s a common thing to do with or without ADHD...
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posted: Wednesday June 24th - 9:00am

My Saving Grace: People Who Get That I Have ADHD

When my daughters constantly remind me about keeping track of the car keys, I am thankful—not defensive.

ADHD Forgetfulness: Thank You for the Reminders
“Do you have your keys?” I swear, she asks me every time. Every. Single. Time. I shut off the car, get out, and my youngest asks me in panic, “Do you have your keys?” Hey, give a dad a break already! There was that one time that I locked the keys in the car. OK, maybe more than one time, but how many years ago was that? Yet she...
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posted: Friday June 12th - 11:12am

My Daughters Think I Hate Them

Many parents with ADHD wear their intensity on their sleeve. Here’s how to lighten up to let the good times roll.

Emotional Intensity and Parenting with Adult ADHD
Years ago, when I was a 30-year-old child learning how to be a parent, I ruled my home with The Voice. It was challenging enough to be a stay-at-home dad amid the pandemonium of raising four girls, but I was also a disabled adult with ADHD. Pandemonium meant mental confusion, and mental confusion meant I made mistakes. I cut through the commotion with a voice that...
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posted: Wednesday May 20th - 9:28am

Why My Stuff Goes Missing and How I Get It Back

Three steps for avoiding wild goose chases looking for a button, wallet, and keys.

Tips for Staying Organized with Adult ADHD
Once upon a time there was a button on my pants. Then I ate something that I was so allergic to that my body swelled up like an orca on a tuna binge. I gained almost 10 pounds. After a few weeks I worked it all off, but I had a new problem. My button had popped off my suit pants while I was doing my...
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posted: Monday May 18th - 3:35pm

Stop Guilt Attacks Now: My Four-Step Plan

Why do we feel bad about ourselves when we can just shrug it off and live to fight another day?

Insecurity in Adults with ADHD
Adults with ADHD have challenges with chronic insecurity. Perhaps it is from a lifetime of being reprimanded for “stupid” ADHD mistakes and behavior. I can’t relate. I’ve never had an English teacher mock my essay, which missed the point of the assignment, out loud in class—while standing next to me during the worst parts. I can’t relate to that hot feeling you get in your ears...
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posted: Monday March 23rd - 9:00am

Exploding Eggs: What Can Happen When You Fall Out of Your Routine

When life throws distractions at me, I drop the ball in a big way. Do you?

ADHD in Adults: The Importance of Routines
My family watches a religious conference on television every fall. The last time I watched, my 15-year-old was sick at her mother’s, so it was just my 12-year-old and I for the day. After the conference was over, there was an ad on TV in which a dad learned to take time out of his schedule to play catch with his kids, tie on and all...
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posted: Tuesday February 10th - 2:01pm

Promises, Promises: Why I Broke Them and How I Keep Them Now

When it took me three years to refurbish a dollhouse for my youngest daughter, I decided not to let her down again.

ADHD Procrastination
Of all the negative aspects of ADHD, the worst for me is the long list of broken promises I have made to my daughters. “I'll give you one art lesson. I'll take you on a trip. I'll find it for you. I'll fix that toy.” I don't mean to break promises, but life happens, we get busy, and things I always meant to do get left...
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