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Readers Respond: Parenting Children With ADHD Through Divorce

Responses: 5


Updated August 15, 2011

Going through a divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for you and your children. Parenting a child with ADHD can bring about many challenges. Adding divorce to the mix complicates things further, but with support and understanding you can get through this time and help your child cope with the changes. There are no simple answers, but hearing from other parents who have been through the process can help. Please share your experiences, thoughts, difficulties, successes, and advice on parenting a child with ADHD through divorce.


My 7 year old son would get frustrated easily and act out, especially when it was time to visit with his dad and when it was time to come home. When he would start acting out we would stop what we were doing and go bicycling. I had read that exercise was one of the best ways to release pent up energy. In the mornings, we'd get up, ride bikes to the donut shop and have breakfast. If we didn't bike we'd eat breakfast, take medicine then go outside and jump on the trampoline for 20 minutes. I had to get him up a little earlier to do this but it made our mornings a lot easier. It also reassured him that the feelings his father and I had for him were not going to change.

Husband has ADHD also

My husband and I divorced about 2 years ago. Both he and our youngest son have ADHD, but my husband would not get help for his. I was like a parent to him just like I am to our kids and I became very tired of it.
—Guest norajean

Making progress

My ex and I have been separated now for about 6 yrs. My son was diagnosed when he was in 1st grade and is now going into 7th. I was totally against having him put on medication, because of my exwife’s reliance on medication herself. I had done every kind of holistic remedies to help my son deal with his ADD and had minimal success in helping. He has now been on medication for about 9 months and has shown marked improvement in his school work. I honestly believe that differences that my ex and I had did not give my boy a clear understanding on what he was dealing with. I know it is difficult to agree on matters with an ex, but I believe that the child has to understand the view points from each parent (whether right or wrong) and understand the reasoning of what direction you have chosen for your child. We are still dealing with the differences of opinion on several matters, but recognizing the problem is half way to resolving the problem.
—Guest pepper

50/50 joint good for kids?!?

My husband and I are divorcing after 12 years of marriage. We have two beautiful daughters a 10 and 6 year old. My 10 year old was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 7. My soon to be ex has ADHD also. I thought this would make him more understanding of our daughter, but instead he is short tempered and has little patience with her. There has been some high tension situations while doing homework, usually it involves her crying and him yelling. My daughter’s therapist has recommended him not doing homework with her. I tried talking to him about parenting time. He states he wants 50/50 split the week. I asked if he thought this was in our daughter’s best interest…that especially our oldest needs consistency, stability and organization in her life. His comment is she'll be fine. I am very concerned, he can't even do homework with her. He has not been an active parent the last years, but now all of a sudden he wants what he wants regardless what is in the kids’ best interest.
—Guest Lynn

Still fighting

Our biggest fights were over our child's medication. Actually, we still fight over that now that we are divorced. My ex never thought our child needed meds, but he clearly does better in school when he is on medicine. Now that school is starting again soon I am worried about what will happen because now our children stay part of the time at home and part of the time at his home. I bet his father won't give him the meds for school on those days when he has the kids. I am afraid my son will begin to have trouble again. He is going into middle school and I have heard that time is hard. I get angry just thinking about how my ex fights me so much on this!!!!!
—Guest pippen
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