ADHD parenting tips for dads can be just as vital and important as advice for moms. Many dads find themselves at a loss when they come home to a hyperactive child who just won’t seem to settle down. With all the pressures of work and having a home, many dads struggle to find ways to cope with also managing a child with ADHD.
We know parenting can present many challenges. Here at FastBraiin, we really believe parents can be one of the key factors in a successful comprehensive ADHD treatment plan. Parents, especially dads, have a huge impact on childhood development. Your child needs you, and, in many ways, you need your child as well.
In this post, we want to briefly look at six specific ADHD parenting tips for dads. This doesn’t include all the advice or everything you need, but it may be a good place to begin. Use this as a starting point for connecting better and getting more involved with your child with ADHD.
1. Don’t Disappear into Work
In many ways, our culture today teaches us to disappear or avoid our struggles. We see this almost everywhere. Our entertainment, athletic events, and work have all turned into varying degrees and different ways of escapism. Due to its prevalence, ADHD parenting tips for dads needs to begin with advice against seeking escapism into work.
Unfortunately, escapism happens in a lot of families today, especially with fathers who might be physically present in the home but who disappear into their work and career. Work can provide an easy escape and easy excuse. Your family needs you to work. You need an income, and you need to provide.
Your child, though, needs much more than just you to provide monetary input into their lives. Your child needs you to be emotionally available as well as physically present. While there might be several pressures to disappear as a dad, you need to resist the temptation to escape.
2. Don’t Check Out at Home
Almost as bad as disappearing into work can be the temptation to check out at home. You might physically be in the same space, but you still seek escapism and avoidance of dealing with your kids and family. Many dads today will be at home, but they won’t participate in the family environment and dynamic as much as they should.
We recommend guarding against checking out at home as much as possible. Your family needs you, and they need you much more than you need playing video games or hanging with friends. Your child’s success at school and in life in many ways depends on your engagement with them in the home. Having an emotionally absent or unavailable parent can be devastating to a child.
Dealing with a child who struggles at school and with social interactions can be challenging. They need you to be physically and emotionally present at home, though, and they need you engaged. A part of necessary ADHD parenting tips for dads begins with not checking out emotionally at home. You need to fight to be present and active in your child’s life on a daily basis.
3. Get Involved in their School
As part of ADHD parenting tips for dads would be not only not checking out at home but also working to get involved in your kids efforts at school. For any child, school makes up the majority of their interactions and where they spend their time. Unfortunately, most times, school can be particularly challenging for children with ADHD.
There’s a lot that goes into really understanding learning and school for your child such as understanding ADHD and learning styles or recognizing the struggle for children with ADHD to socialize with other kids. For a parent, especially many dads, staying on top of everything that happens at school can be difficult. We recommend you really try, though.
You might never fully understand everything about your kids and school. Just making an earnest effort, though, makes a significant difference. Additionally, you need to stay positive about school and help your ADHD child get excited about school, as well. If you stay positive about school, your kids will see your energy and enthusiasm and reflect it themselves.
4. Take Interest in their Interests
Due to work and other obligations, many dads just simply have very limited time, mostly in the evenings, to spend with their kids. You need to make the most of this time to really get to know your child’s personality.
Every child has different likes and interests. You shouldn’t assume your child likes the same things as you. Rather you should really get to know what makes them excited.
Simply by showing interest in what your child enjoys can have a huge effect on their demeanor and success in school. When you have the opportunity really ask them what they like and listen to what they say. As part of ADHD parenting tips for dads then you should work to engage their passions and interests. For instance, if they like being creative, work to find ways to encourage creativity in their pursuits.
5. Be Positive
Our culture presents us with a lot of negativity. Your child receives negative stimulus on a daily basis from school, from TV, and from other sources such as video games. We all need a positive input in our lives, especially our children.
How your child interacts and sees the world, whether positive or negative, will help direct how they react to situations. Evidence shows us that negative people and our own negativity have a tremendous impact on our happiness. Through being positive, you can make both yourself and your family happier.
For your kids, you need to provide them a positive example to follow. Life can be difficult and discouraging. Your child doesn’t need to hear or see your negative reactions to life’s challenges. Rather, they need to see how you can find and bring out the positives even in really negative environments.
6. Get Active with your Kids
We all need to get more active. Whether that means we play a sport or go for a run or walk, we should be doing more to be moving around. Physical activity provides many benefits such as reducing weight and stress. We also know that physical activity helps improve ADHD.
A final one of our ADHD parenting tips for dads is to just get active with your kids. Many dads naturally want to get active. You might have played a sport when you were in high school or growing up. Now, you should encourage your kids to do the same.
If you played a sport yourself, you can start with encouraging them to try what you played. You could also just encourage them to go to a park to throw a ball or play Frisbee. Do what you can to get them up and moving to release positive energy. The active movement will be good both for them and for you and for your relationship together.
ADHD Parenting Tips for Dads Comes Down to Getting Involved
We want you to know that we understand parenting is hard, especially a lot of times for working dads. Our modern lives present us with many stresses, and many of us struggle to balance them all. Understanding how to address and deal with a child with ADHD won’t come naturally to most dads.
You need help sometimes. We all do. Foremost of anything we can tell you, we believe ultimately that ADHD parenting tips for dads come down to getting involved and staying positive. We believe parents need to get into hero mode for their kids. Your kids need you, and they need you present and engaged more than anything.
Parents can help ADHD profoundly by being present and positive. Don’t give up the fight. When you feel discouraged, remember you are not alone.
Look for other resources here at FastBraiin or other places online to help you when you struggle. You can do this. We can help.