messy. crazy. amazing. joyful.
We're not all officially ADHD. Dad's unofficial. Our ten-year-old twins have ADHD. Our seven-year old wants to have it because everyone is always talking about it. Our three year old has ADHD--just because she's three. And me, Mom, I think it's contagious. Who can remain untouched in a house where shoes seem to be lost every morning, instructions are routinely thrown aside, and fights erupt over which continent capybaras come from?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
If you ever need a fanciful flight from my or your ADHD-riddled life, you might like to visit my cousin Kirsten’s blog. Here you will see three darling girls with braids, bows, or buns in their hair; green cardigans, polka-dot skirts, bejeweled necklaces; glasses that are not bent nor crooked nor splotched with dry liquid ovals. The girls play the cello, the piano, the violin. And they love it. They draw and color their own paper dolls. They stroll along country roads. They cozy up next to their mother and cross stitch—probably for hours, all the while humming a happy tune. Nary a laceless, holey shoe will you find in this dwelling. Not a guacamole-encrusted light saber. Not a three-day old peanut butter sandwich stuck to the wall. In short, it is not my house-- just the one I imagined before I had children.
Her blog is a little escape from my galaxy of chaos into an enchanted fairy world. To be fair, her kids are older, they are all girls, and I have one more than her. You will not hate her and covet her neuro-typical life. You will enjoy her perspective. She is honest and funny—a great writer. She, like any mother, has her moments: her ups, downs, in-betweens, and scorpion catching exploits. And I LOVE her photos. She shares all the beautiful things she finds and creates. She has a little Etsy shop with some darling prints if you are so inclined.
I say all this about escape from my world because I do need to escape from it sometimes, but never would I escape for—well, probably more than three days. In fact, I was away last weekend, and I missed my crazy family with a longing that normal people probably feel. (I was away two weekends ago also, and I felt guilty for not really missing them. I needed a chance to breath. So I felt happy that I missed them last weekend. I am not a cruel, self-absorbed, unloving person. Yeah!)
Monday, September 13, 2010
|High energy kiddos.|
We had a little chit chat with the psychiatrist the other day about how things are going. My husband talked about how the kids have been rather sassy lately, and by the time he is done with them, they have lost their Wii privileges for the rest of their lives, are grounded forever, and can’t watch tv for three years. (Then he’s off to work, and I get to deal with the repercussions.) He knows this is too much, but also knows he doesn’t want disrespectful children.
So our dr. told us that we need to have a clean punishment slate every day or else the kids will feel hopeless about ever having a moment of fun again. My hubby said okay, and we were kind of done with the discussion. But then I told on him! I had to. He’s not really changing his ways in the discipline department, despite the new techniques the psychologist is teaching us. Even though he is a very intelligent, kind, reasonable man, sometimes he doesn’t listen to me. Many things could prompt this. Let’s just say he has ADHD, too, and sometimes I am the great reminder of everything he ought to be doing—thus, he has developed a turn-off-the-wife response. Sometimes when he is disciplining the kids, I come and raise my eyebrows and make faces in an attempt to remind him that he is not using the right technique. This is my way of trying to get his attention without coming out and saying, “Honey, have you not remembered one thing the psychiatrist told us about discipline?” which would very likely undercut his authority in front of the kids.
So, I told the dr. that my husband sometimes cannot resist the temptation to lecture and respond to everything my kids say. I have reminded him (see above) that they don’t listen to lectures and that they need short explanations and quick consequences. And often, when they are trying to push his buttons, he allows his buttons to be pushed and just gets more and more angry. (Right here, I will just say that of course, I am not a perfect disciplinarian either.)
The doctor told him that kids can get stuck in a rut of negative feedback. They want action, they want excitement, and an easy way to get that is to rile up your parents. Even though it’s negative feedback, at least it’s exciting. It is as though they are addicted to pushing your buttons even though they will suffer negative consequences. It's a little dopamine rush. So he challenged my husband not to take the bait. He warned us that the kids would be very angry when we stopped taking the bait, but that after a couple of weeks, they would be used to it and would settle down. Quick consequences and then ignore the sassiness. Stick them in their room if needed. Here goes our fishing experiment. I'll let you know if we can be smarter than the average tuna.