1. You Normalize ADHD
If you have ADHD, then there is a good chance one (or more) of your children has ADHD too. Children don’t like to be different; you might be the only person they know who has ADHD. By being open about your ADHD, you are normalizing it and even making it cool.
When you are hyper-focusing on your child or an activity you are doing together, they feel like the most special person in the world. The activity doesn’t matter. Listening to a story about their day, watching a movie together or working on a project in the garden, etc.; the attention you are giving is very powerful.
3. Emotional Intelligence
ADHDers are emotionally intelligent and they are sensitive (no matter how thick a crust they show the outside world), so you ‘get’ your children’s’ emotions. It is very validating and reassuring to a child to be understood.
4. Problem Solver
Problems can seem scary at whatever age you are. Having a Dad who is a natural problem solver is like carrying an ace in your back pocket.
5. Stands Up for the Under Dog
ADHDers have a strong moral compass and they aren’t afraid to vocalize that. You might be an advocate for your child at school, or you might use these skills for people you barely know. Either way, your child likes knowing you have their back and do good things in the world.
6. Good in a Crisis
When everyone else is panicky in a crisis, you become calm and instinctively know what to do. ADHDers excel in a crisis situation: car crash, fire, broken leg, etc. You handle the situation like a professional. This is very reassuring to your child.
ADHDers are life-long learners; which means you know a lot of things. You have an answer for every question your son and daughter ask. From ‘How far away is the moon?’ to ‘Why do worms live in the ground?’ and much, much more!
8. Role Model
By managing and treating your ADHD, you are setting a great example. Children are like sponges and observe everything you do and say. If you are being proactive in managing your ADHD, by exercising, taking omega 3, using tricks to help you with time-keeping and organizing, etc., they will do the same.
Because it’s hard for ADHDers to do the things that are boring for them, they generally just do things that they are passionate about. Not only is it fun to be around this type of energy, it also inspires your children to find what they are passionate about.
You are a lot of fun. You don’t follow the rules, you make people laugh, have a good sense of humor, you think of fun things to do, and your enthusiasm for life is contagious
This is such a beautiful post appreciating all the amazing Dads out there, especially the real special ones with ADHD. I am so touched by their amazing qualities and I hope they turn their children into as amazing human beings as they themselves are. 🙂
To add my tidbits to this amazing shoutout to dads, I would like them to read this and make it an easier to cope with the parental challenges well.
Thanks for this! In February, I married a beautiful woman with three wonderful Children—instant family. Our younger girl has ADHD (not diagnosed, but when you have it, you can spot it a mile away). As Ive been thinking about her potential ADHD, I haven’t been able to help thinking about mine and how it’s been affecting my parenting (and every other part of my life at an increased level since my wife and kids moved into my home). It’s been somewhat troubling to think about, and as I was looking up parenting tips for dads with ADHD, the article I read before yours was all about how I, as an ADHD father, could completely mess up my children’s lives in a variety of fun and exciting ways—good, uplifting piece. Then I got to your article, and I immediately felt encouraged that I wasn’t doomed to be a parental failure after all. Thanks again!
Dave!!! you are defiantly not doomed! you sound like an amazing dad and lovely husband. Thanks for sharing your story. You might find this article helpful to read to, for your daughter
I always wondered why I became a police officer! You just encapsulated it. Passion, energy, problem solver, emotional intelligence, need to help others who are disadvantaged. My daughter and I were diagnosed ADHD 3 years ago. Sadly my personal skill were not appreciated in the police. I was too difficult to manage as I was different!!! However I proudly passed my Sergeant and Inspectors exams with flying colours but didn’t get promoted to Inspector because I was ‘too different’ ! I was medically retired. I was not the problem, just no one could be bothered to try and understand the needs I had. I’m now happily coaching my daughter to a happy and fulfilled life with ADHD being normal! Thanks Jaqueline, your blogs bring so much reassurance and a smile xxx
I’ve had the privilege of working with Jacqui before and can say she seems to understand myself sometimes much better than i do(even with little feedback from some of her clients). But as a father of three and parent of one this one meant a lot to me. One of my biggest concerns is what my ADHD cost my boys but after relating to every single one of the ten traits I realize for the first time what fun we do have(sometimes at my wife’s expense) and gives me a whole new optimistic outlook at being a good father.
Jacqui, Your one of the most incredible people I’ve met and have gained so much from working with in person and really benefited from your recent online coaching course.
You have a way of bringing the potential out of a fog of uncertainty that brings a smile to my face as i look towards the future.
Your the best,
Thank you so much for the beautiful comment. I was so touched. You are very special too! I know with 100 percent certainly you are one awesome DAD.
Wow – thank you for this!!! It has made my day 🙂