With Father’s Day just around the corner on Sunday, June 19, I considered giving ideas on keiki crafts gifts, fun events around Honolulu and ways to celebrate all the dads and father figures in our lives. But then I came across this fantastic article that gives resources for fathers who have children with ADHD, and had to share!
This website shares videos, books, articles and blogs that are geared towards fathers who have a child with ADHD, and one particular article stood out to me. It’s about the relationship between fathers and sons with ADHD. It says:
“Boys learn to be "just like their dad." If dad is critical, not there, or disapproves of the boy's behaviors or activities, how can this son have any healthy image of himself? The adolescent boy learns how to move toward being a man by watching his father and other male authority figures. The role that his father plays is critical to his accepting and respecting himself, and to moving successfully toward adulthood.”
While this article focuses only on the relationship between sons and fathers, I think that the idea of a role model still applies for daughters. Here are some ideas for you dads out there who are looking for ways to be more involved with their sons and daughters!
1. Let your child participate in a physical activity that you can do together. Take him along on your evening jogs or to the pool when you swim laps. Does your child do sports? Cheer him on or take it a step further, and try coaching your child’s team.
2. Understand your child’s ADHD. Let them know that you do "get it", and be supportive of any therapy. Drive them to the therapy sessions and if you’re using virtual programs like IM Home, sit down with them and guide them through each session.
3. After you come home from work, it’s easy to want to take the time to unwind on your own. After you do though, be sure to spend some time unwinding with your kids. Give mom a break and help your child with home. Read, talk or play games together after dinner. On weekends, take your kid shopping together.
4. Do you have a hobby, like fixing up your car, woodworking or playing music? Do you love fishing, golfing or surfing? Let your child be an apprentice on weekend or evening hobbies, and teach him or her basic skills like home or auto repair. Bring your child along on your fun hobbies and give an easy task to do. Sometimes, they might just enjoy watching you work or play.
We tend to think moms as the nurturing, caregivers of our family, but not so much the dads, and of course, that stereotype should be far from the truth in today’s day and age. The influence of a strong male role model has serious benefits to a child’s emotional growth, whether he or she has ADHD or not. Give these ideas a try, and enjoy bonding with your child.