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Seperate Households and ADHD

I have attended a behavior therapy course designed for parents of children with ADHD and have started using many of the techniques at home with some success. My problem, though, is that my son’s father, from whom I’m divorced, refuses to learn about these techniques and use them when my son is with him. How can I maintain a structured life for my son when he is basically on his own every other weekend at his father’s house?


Separate households can present quite a challenge to families of children with ADHD because consistency is so important for the progress of these children. It is optimal to have your ex-spouse involved as much as possible from the very beginning of the evaluation through developing and carrying out a treatment plan. This will remain in the best interest of your child, and encourage their buy-in and cooperation with the treatment plan because their opinions have been respected, their questions answered, and their input sought as the plan develops.

If a breakdown in communication remains, your child’s pediatrician may be able to recommend a family therapist who can help you and your ex-spouse work through some of the issues that are standing in the way of a consistent routine that can be maintained in both households. If none of these possibilities are feasible, however, you should still implement and role model as many of these behavior therapy techniques as you can in your own household.

Last Updated
ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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