My Spouse and I Disagree on How to Parent our Child with ADHD. What do I do?
Differing parenting techniques and ideologies are fairly common when it comes to raising a child with ADHD. One parent may be against their child taking ADHD medication, while the other is adamant about trying it. A mother may be in favor of a more holistic approach to treatment, while a father may believe a “tough love” technique will work better.
These differences often present unique challenges. The best course of action is for parents to educate themselves on ADHD, explore various treatment options and to work together as a team.
Disagreeing on parenting techniques is not unique to parenting children with ADHD. Each parent’s opinions and concerns are valid and usually come from wanting what is best for the child.
Family therapy can be a great option for parents to discuss concerns in a safe place with an unbiased third party helping to guide the conversation. Arguments at home can easily become about stubbornness and who is “right” and who is “wrong.” In reality, disagreements are usually coming from a valid place.
For example, a mother may be concerned about the side effects of ADHD medications. Or a father may have been raised in a household where mental health was not talked about or addressed. The notion of family therapy is very “foreign” to him and it makes him feel nervous and anxious. Each of these concerns are completely understandable and reasonable. Working with a professional can help build empathy and understanding for each parent’s concerns.
The key is to work together as a team. Undermining the other parent or fighting in front of the child are not only damaging to the child but also to the parent’s relationship. When disagreements escalate and start to get heated, it’s important to take a step back and remind each other of these truths:
Both parents care about the well being of their child.
Both parents love their child and want what is best for their child.
Both parents are committed to finding the right treatment options.
Exploring and learning together can help both parents find common ground. Attend therapy sessions together, share articles or books that you found with each other and talk to mental health experts, doctors and community groups/members as a unit. By doing so, both parents are able to hear the same information and are able to ask questions.
Still unsure of where to start? We encourage you to contact us to discuss your unique situation.
At GUTS OC, Inc., we specialize in working with families with a child or young adult who have ADHD. Our team includes a therapist, brain stimulation specialist, clinical psychologist and a personal chef. What is unique about our program is we combine the latest technology and mental health services to help our patients get long term results faster.
About GUTS OC:
We combine mental health services and state-of-the-art technology to help our patients obtain long-term results faster. Our specialties include therapy, micro current neurofeedback and life coaching. Our evidence-based approach has helped thousands of individuals, couples and families who have sought our help over the past 22 years. Our trained specialists are committed to educating & empowering our patients with the skills and mindset to live successful, happy lives.
GUTS OC is based in Newport Beach, CA but provides services to all of Orange County through in-person sessions and/or virtual therapy sessions via phone, chat or video.