Raising a child with ADHD often magnifies the challenges of caregiving. If you are a father with ADHD, as I am, you can only give your kids the structure and support they need if you manage your own symptoms first. And that begins with regulating your emotions, managing stress, and learning to respond positively to your child’s emotional needs.Try the following parenting tips to forge a more meaningful connection with your child.Don’t rush to fix everyone.
Many men immediately adopt a problem-solving approach when children (and spouses) air their problems, but most children simply want to feel heard. Validate your child by saying: “That sounds really hard/frustrating/scary. I’m sorry you’re going through that.” Check-in after this step to see if your child wants your help with problem-solving.[Download: Free Guide for Parents with ADHD]Picture this: You’ve asked your child twice to put their dirty dish in the dishwasher.
A short time later, you make a third request. Hours later, the dish is still in the sink. You explode.
“How many times do I have to ask you to do this?!” Your growing frustration may have been obvious to you, but to your child, you went from zero to 100 in no time.Don’t assume your kids understand your escalating frustration. Instead, practice emotional regulation. Talk to your child at eye level to help them feel safe.
Deploy humor to de-escalate your response to the situation. You can say, “This is the fourth time I’ve asked you to put your dish in the dishwasher. If I see the dish in the sink when I come back, I’m going to go bananas.”Children with ADHD thrive on clear rules, directions, and consistency.
dads with ADHD