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Parents of ADHD Children

How can I help my DH understand ADHD?

Hello all, I’m new here.. I have an 8 year old son who was diagnosed when he was 5.  He’s a wonderful boy, but has all the typical ADHD symptoms, immature, lacking in social skills, backtalks, extremely impulsive, Hyper, lies, argues, etc…
My husband is a great man, but I can’t get him to understand that yelling and disciplining our son for things he can’t control is not going to help the situation.  we can tell our son until he’s blue in the face that it’s raining outside and he’ll say no it’s not, the sun is shining..  I understand this, I’ve learned a lot about ADHD and want to learn a lot more.. I want to learn more on how can I help him.  I can’t get my husband on the same page . As a military man, he thinks that discipline and being strict is the answer and he’ll learn from it.  Believe me, I’m not opposed to him being disciplined and paying the consequences.. but DH does it for EVERYTHING.. he can’t cut the poor kid a break.  I’m really afraid he’s hurting DS(not physically, don’t get me wrong) and I already see that my son is pushing him away or leaving the room when DH enters because DS probably figures “what’s the point, no matter what I do, Dad’s just going to be mad at me”  and I hate that.  I don’t want DH to come across like this horrible person, because he’s not.  He wants his son to be well behaved and respectful, so do I… but for DS, it’s a little harder to come by.  We do praise him when he does right.
I’ve tried giving DH articles, we’ve both talked to the Dr and given him links to read, I think he blows them off. I wish he would read about it, understand it more and how it works and affects our son and how we can help him together.. instead we end up arguing ourselves because I think he’s much too hard on our son, and he doesn’t think he’s too hard on him at all.  I really think DH thinks that this is going to go away with being strict and discipline.  I’m not sure what’s more frustrating.. DH not getting it and working to make it better, or DS having it. 


You say you’ve given him articles—but what kind of articles?  Any that specifically address the issue of punishment not being a very good deterrent and positive reinforcement working so much better?

If you have given him articles that describe why punishment isn’t particularly effective for kids with ADHD what does he say about them?
• Article is BS, “I know better…and punishment will too work…”
• Maybe he doesn’t think ADHD exists either?
• Or does he cognitively “get” all of it, just cannot do anything other than the only way he knows—the military way?

Posted by BC on Feb 27, 2014 at 5:21am

Every time I gave my husband articles and books to read about ADHD - he would browse through them pretty fast - “too busy” to sit and read a book.  Drove me nuts!

Have your husband watch the video to the right of this screen.  “Essential Ideas for Parents” by Dr. Russell Barkley.  Yes it is long - but he will learn more about ADHD than ever reading a book.  And there’s something about watching a video that keeps your attention.

Posted by staypositive on Feb 27, 2014 at 7:40am

One of they ways that I believe that ADHD is going to be shown to be a true medical issue will be from actual, physical examples. Some tremendous strides have been made in research of ADHD via MRIs, CTs, X-Rays, etc. The physical differences, ie; lack of activity in the brain shown between those with ADHD as opposed to those without, may prove to provide some advances in the understanding of ADHD.

Unfortunately one of the greatest tragedies of ADHD is that the symptoms reveal themselves in ways that seem to be controllable by the sufferer when indeed they are not. Children with ADHD are on average 3yrs behind their peers regarding behavior and social abilities which make it all the more difficult.

The truth is that there may be many people in our lives, in society, that will never, ever believe that ADHD is a real disorder and we’ll find we’re wasting our breath trying to explain it. It is up to us to know that even if others don’t believe it we have to advocate for them best we can. I think for men it may be particularly difficult to understand for various reasons.

Luckily ADHD symptoms do become easier to control over time. I’m sure that your husband is doing what he thinks his job is for your son. ‘ADHD and Lovin It’ is a great DVD if you can sit down with your husband to watch it. Otherwise discussing the MRI, etc. research that’s been done with your husband and your son’s doctor may help. Medical treatment is very important. Best of luck because I know how hard of a situation it is to be in!!

Posted by Havebeenthere on Feb 27, 2014 at 1:32pm

thank you for sharing your story.

i am having the same problem with DH, it what he thinks is right, and most things i dont put up a huge fight about, but when it come to our son and what is right for him this is where we ram heads, our son has ADHD and i want to try treating it as naturally as we can change diet supplements etc. he believes we should do whatever the doctor says she how she went to school for years and all that jazz. i have also tried to explain the same thing about how punishment yes is needed in some cases, but in some cause it not help him learn how to control himself, or his behaviour and no matter what the punishment he gives him that will not help him learn control. he will not read anything, and if he dose he says he knew that already or dosnt see how that apply here. i am just beyond frustrated i have no support for what i am trying to do for my son, even the doctor dosnt think anything i want to will work and told my to stop reading online gossip and to go read things that are true. the funny thing is all the info she gave me were about adhd meds and the companeys, nothing what so ever about other choices. even when i asked about diet she said all it would do would make him a healthy kid. i just want someone in my corner willing to go to bat with me for my son, and what best for him.

Posted by odinsmommy on Feb 28, 2014 at 6:18pm

Rigid routines, not “hearing” you, being off topic,
showing an interest in reading only what he is interested in, not acknowledging you, trying to force someone to do things his way, are ALL signs of an adult with mild autism (Asperger’s), read David Finch’s book “Best Practices….my husband had both but when medicated for the ADHD, he could follow conversations easier because he was relaxed but the AS is helped better with
adult group therapies, Good Luck! If it is AS and he is unwilling to get help, see if you can live with it, or not….

Posted by Houston on Mar 01, 2014 at 5:33pm

Run to the library and read The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene.  Then get your husband to read it.  I am a mom of an 11 year old with adhd and wish i had read it years ago.  It explains why this type of discipline will not work for a challenging, inflexible child.  How punishment and imposing your will can make the behavior and your son so much worse.  It will make your husband see your son through different lenses.  It will change your lives.

Posted by Dylans mom on Mar 02, 2014 at 5:19am

I’m in a similar situation. My son is 9 and was diagnosed last year, though it took me two years to convince my dh that my son needed help. Why?! There no complaints from school! He’d say. But as a mom I knew long before anyone else there was something wrong ...most of the struggle has been convincing people around my son. And now that my son is diagnosed and my dh understands the symptoms it is still very hard for him to ACCEPT and relearn how to be a parent. So I focus more on my son…he’s so much more mature. I can’t change my dh but I can help my son. It may take years for your dh to accept ADHD or he might never. use your energy wisely. And some tactics a use with my son I use with my dh…if u catch him doing something right praise him!

Posted by Ale on Mar 03, 2014 at 9:28am

Perhaps, if you re-frame the issue with your son for DH.  There is a genetic component to ADHD, and that is that child with ADHD are very sensitive.  Growing up in a household where one or parents are demanding without demonstrating empathy will cause the very symptoms that are ADHD.

The book “Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It” by Gabor Mate is a refreshing look at ADHD.  It looks at the research and reframes how we loot at ADHD. 

Having all the symptoms of ADHD and anxiety myself, helps me see it in my son.  It has been difficult changing my own parenting style.  Whenever, I am unsure what to do, I tend to revert to yelling as I am still practicing.  I am attempting to merge the scattered approach with the Love and Logic approach as I see real promise.

Posted by daddyx2 on Mar 03, 2014 at 10:32pm

qweenb76—I could have written your story myself.  I am a military wife with an 8-year-old ADHD son and a military (now retired) DH who doesn’t “get it.”  I am also a veteran myself—who has ADHD.  Since you’re military I’m guessing you’re also a TriCare family, which only makes things even more fun.  Please PM me; I would love to talk with you about it!

Posted by CombatTVgirl on Mar 05, 2014 at 2:17am

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