View Full Version : ADHD father connect with ADHD teen daughter

10-11-15, 06:49 AM
As years have gone by, my relationship with my daughter has changed. She needs much more from her mom right now, of course, being a teenage girl, but she seems to be going through that phase where she doesn't seem to trust me, open up to me, etc. I'm sure some (or all) has to do with me. In the past, being ADHD myself, I've let my anger get the best of me, disciplining with sarcasm and profanity. I've worked my *** off to eliminate that, and apologize when I fail, but I think maybe I've hardened her heart toward me a little. Or it could be my imagination .. her meds (focalin) do tend to "switch off" her emotions a little sometimes. Her bio mother was also a nasty, bi polar woman who fed on weakness and generosity in others like a zombie feeds on brains! I detect a tiny bit of that in DD, though very muted due to her much better upbringing.

So what I'm searching for is
A.) General advice on connecting with daughter. She doesn't like anything typcial. She loves horses, plays no sports, and I'm all thumbs when it comes to the typical "guy" stuff. Good conversations would be cool. I do make time for father daughter date once a month or so (movies, dinner, fun park, etc.)

B.) How to heal damage I've done from being a whiny, *****y, ranting and raving "all about me" father in the past.

Thanks for listening!

Little Missy
10-11-15, 06:53 AM
Go with the horse thing. :)

10-11-15, 07:45 AM
I think, one frank talk, where you acknowledge and apologise for the way you've acted in the past (e.g. just letting her know that you are aware that your behaviour was hurtful and that you are trying hard to work on it) might go a long way. I know you said you apologise now when it happens but it might help as well to acknowledge as well that it has happened in the past and that you are sorry for that. I know coming from my dad that would mean the world to me.

I also agree with the horse thing. Alternatively, just ask her what activities she might enjoy.

Also, and I'm not saying you do this but don't say anything negative about her mother or anyone else in her life. I think there is nothing as infuriating and trust and love eroding than hearing one parent ***** about the other parent or any other relatives.

Also, I'm not sure how old your daughter is but I guess most kids go through a phase where they trust their parents less. I mean, it's great that you are trying to build a better relationship and I'm sure that she will appreciate that as well but just don't force it. Even if she just opens up a little bit that's great.

10-11-15, 10:29 AM
I agree with both posters above. Keeping it real, with a loving and kind delivery method, will be the most powerful thing you can do. Mad props to you for seeking methods to improve your relationship with her.

My dad was my hero when he was still with us. The two things I remember the most were his gentle responses to everyone, regardless of how angry he was, and his huge attitude of gratitude, reminding me that even in his business, sometimes a simple and heartfelt "thank you" was payment enough.

Maybe arrange your father/daughter date day to be at a horse stable that enables you both to interact with the horses and ride together. I'd make that a regular once a month thing vs. every month or so. Ask her how often she'd like to hang with you and commit to doing it. Take turns planning so she can feel like she has some control in it, too, instead of always being expected to follow your lead.

Best wishes to you and your daughter in making and nurturing a deeper connection.

10-11-15, 11:07 AM
I wasnt particularly close to my dad as a teenager ( he was a very good man and father), I suppose he somehow made me uncomfortable but this was especially because we were SO much alike! he simply annoyed me. also a lot of my problems stemmed from liking boys so of coursz that topic was just out of the question for le.

You ne doing a wonderfuljob and maybe if she resents you for something from when she was younger well itll solve itself,as you keep being kind and consistent now. this is so important for women later in their lives! my friend ( i think Ive mentioned this before), has a selfish and manipulative father and it took years of therapy to accept this.

10-13-15, 01:22 PM
This is not unusual for a teenage girl. My husband (who has ADHD) and my own teenage daughter (who does not) have had their share of growing apart in the past few years. She prefers to confide in me because she can count on me to keep her secrets and listen (and know when to give advice and when to just listen). My husband has a hard time with that. When she does tell him things, he will often throw it back at her later, or blurt it out in a joking manner in front of people. Because of that, she feels she cant trust him.

I agree to having a heart to heart, telling her you're working on it. Show interest in what she likes, buy her things, take her places, listen like you're interested, don't always give your opinion. Just be there.