The Importance of a Father’s Presence?

by Lillian Reekie

July 15, 2022


Common Alphabet Disorders on the Rise

Back when our youngest son was in preschool and diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and Childhood Depression it was a real struggle for his dad and I to handle at the time. I was a teacher and had gone back to part-time teaching and full time Mum of two boys, when I wasn’t in my paid teaching job. My husband owned his own electrical contracting business at this time. This was a new enterprise, and he was the main bread winner for our family as such. He is an awesome partner and Dad, worked hard and long hours to provide for our family. I knew he was doing what he had to yet, somehow, I felt alone and overwhelmed, especially dealing with our very intense, newly diagnosed youngest son.

dad helping his daughter

I remember wishing at times that I had the ‘full time’ job as I felt it would have been easier than working part time as a teacher and caring for my family full time. Whilst I loved my boys and wanted to spend quality time with them, I felt like I wasn’t coping. Often identified as a struggling Mum trying to cope with so much in a day. Especially due to my youngest sons very high level of intensity. I was actually diagnosed with depression & medication was recommended (story for another time).

So what is "Dad Deficiency Disorder" & "DADD"?

We didn’t identify it at the time, but in later years it stood out like a sore thumb. Our son was not only was dealing with the symptoms of being diagnosed with Childhood Depression, ADHD and ODD but also with what we coined ‘DDD’ Dad Deficiency Disorder! 

I have more recently heard another similar and interesting acronym ‘DADD’ Dad Attention Deficit Disorder or ‘DADS’ Dad Attention Deficit Syndrome! 

In my work as a Parenting Strategist over the last 25 plus years I have seen so much evidence of the negative effects on relationships in the home from a Dad being deficient in the time and energy they give to their children. This is not to judge any Dad out there, but it does appear that in many instances this seems to be the case. I hear it so often directly from the stressed and overwhelmed Mums that I work with.

dad sitting in hammock with his son

In saying that of course there are many awesome Dads, who give much time and effort to their parenting and their relationships with their children. In the parenting courses I conduct I have had some very actively involved Dads. Some of these Dad's are co-parenting in the home and some are co-parenting separately outside the home. In many instances I have both Mum's and Dad's who identify when things go awry, that they have neglected their relationships with their children and find themselves in sad and unfortunate situation where there is much resentment, disconnect and negativity all round.

How Does a Dad Become Absent?

This most often is not due to neglect, however, to not having the rights tools or know how to positively connect and relationship with their children from an early age. Some Dads out there still carry that old school generational opinion that the raising of children is predominantly the Mums ‘job’. What I have come to identify in my many years of doing this work is that Parenting is NOT a job, but a relationship that you will want to nurture and grow until your ‘box day’. Then hopefully you would want your children to carry on with their children and so on, because of the wonderful, unconditional loving relationships you worked on every day in your parenting journey!

dad and son holding a fish

Key Takeaway for Every Dad

So, Dads my tip of the day for you is to get more actively involved in your connection and relationship with your children. Not only will this be awesome for you and your children, but it will also strengthen your connection, bond, and relationship with their mother. Sign up to our  Superhero Dad's Masterclass to learn more!

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About the author 

Lillian Reekie  -  A Parenting Strategist with over 20+ years experience. I've been helping parents, carers and teachers to improve their relationships with their children. Through applying effective parenting techniques I have seen first hand the impact this has on families. My aim is to share this knowledge and transform as many parents, teachers and carers as possible. If you wish to have a chat or talk about your parenting issues I am always available by phone or alternatively email. 

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