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The Impact of ADHD on the Family and the Father’s Relationship with his Child

Posted Nov 17 2008 9:04pm

Patrick J. Kilcarr, Ph.D. Georgetown University author of “Fatherhood and ADHD”
reprinted with permission of Rowell Family Empowerment
As many of us know, living with ADHD pushes the envelope of maintaining consistency and regularity in our lives. Just when we think we have a handle on it, something in life shifts to keep us off balance. Learning to manage ADHD in ourselves or in the lives of our children can be as emotionally frustrating as it is rewarding. This article draws insight and direction from the real experts in the field of ADHD: the fathers who live with and help support their sons who must grapple with and manage ADHD on a daily basis.

Over an eighteen month period, fathers were invited to participate in an audio taped interview regarding the sum and substance of their relationship with their son who has ADHD. Fathers poignantly discussed the impact ADHD has had on their lives, the lives of family members, and the influence ADHD has had on the hopes and dreams they hold for their sons. Fathers openly shared parenting strategies they felt were counterproductive to fostering personal maturity and responsibility in their sons. They also were very clear about the type of father-son interaction that clearly enhanced their sons’ self-confidence, feelings of self-worth, and willingness to take appropriate social and emotional risks.

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