Continued from Fathers with ADHD
“One of the challenges of being a father with ADHD is making sure that my game is up to par,” Pecile noted. “ADHD often impairs one’s ability to be on top of their game and that provides additional challenges when being a parent with ADHD.”
Pecile is thankful his diagnosis was uncovered before too much more time slipped by. “I like to say I got my ADHD from them,” he joked, acknowledging his gratitude that their condition helped uncover his own. “After my diagnosis, my self-perception and my perception of my sons changed for the better. Pecile says it helped once he learned how ADHD affects the pre-frontal cortex of the brain and the areas that involve impulsivity, focus, time management, problem solving, etc.
“This diagnosis was a long-awaited explanation as to why I was so different from many of my counterparts,” Pecile said. “The knowledge I gained about ADHD and how it has impacted me has helped me become a better father.
“It is often said, ‘know thy self,’ and I would like to think that teaching that to my boys is one of the most important lessons I can pass on to them.”
“My advice would be to remember that life will happen anyway,” Gordon said. “You don’t have to push it; you don’t have to force it. There is very little that you are upset about today that is a matter of life or death. When we are going through a particular situation, it seems like the end of the world… that it’s ‘do or die,’ and it’s really not. Lighten up; don’t take everything so seriously. I’d probably add that it would be a good idea to be as quick with an apology when we hurt someone’s feelings as we are to jump into an adventure.”
Carter agrees. “The most important thing is to help your child know they are loved. That is the single biggest and most important thing a child needs. Try to give affirmation as often as possible, tell them how much you appreciate the things they do well and not just empty compliments like, ‘I like your blue shirt.’ Tell them you appreciate some of the things they do or some of the character traits that they have,” Carter said.
“If we can really focus our attention on the important things, then the fact that dinner is not on the table at 6 p.m. every night is not going to be as big a deal. Focus on the most important things and let some of the smaller things take care of themselves.”
Carter also suggests to other fathers with ADHD, that if there are areas where you are struggling from a parenting standpoint, whether it’s consistency with things around the house or issues from an emotional perspective, helping your kids with homework on a regular basis, organization, or just challenges with things that relate to your own ADHD, then it might be a time to seek out a coach or get some help from a family member or friend in dealing with those issues.
Elfassy’s advice is built around acceptance of your ADHD diagnosis. “It’s just another facet of life. We all have something. I have ADD but it’s just a part of who I am.
“At the end of the day, your life is just a story and everything that happens to you is just a part of that story. You might as well make it a positive one. There’s always somebody who has something worse than you so just be grateful and go with it.”