Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Say what you mean....ASK!

Feeling kind of bummed.  Watching a special on PBS - ADD and Loving It.  It is about Adult ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).  While I understand it, I don't always like it.  I love people, don't get me wrong.  It can just be frustrating to figure out where ADD (ADHD) starts.....and ends.  My brain doesn't always (rarely) thinks outside the box.  My family frequently lives outside the box.  Our brains are different.  Not better, not worse....just different.  AND I've been dealing with it for so long that sometimes I forget to use what works. 

I have been recently reminded to remember to probe around a situation that starts to get sticky.  I need to remember to ask about the thought process....or end result.  There is usually more to the story.  Actually, this is not only good advice for ADD.  It is great for kids (and some adults, smile) in general.

I think one of the best examples I can think of involves wings.  Costume wings for Halloween to be exact.  More years ago than I care to admit, my daughter asked me to make wings for a costume.  She picked awesome shimmery material.  I bent coat hangers.  Hand stitched the material around the hangers.  They turned out pretty awesome....if I do say so myself.  She liked them very much.  Costume party date for school approaches.  I come to help for the party.  She will NOT put on the wings.

I do the typical parent things.  Put them on says I.  No says she.  Back and forth.  This is really dumb as I look back on it, but I start to worry about the other kids will be wearing their costumes and she'll be walking around in her regular clothes.  What will other parents think?  Her mom is AT the party and her daughter's not wearing a costume, what's up with that?  

Finally, we're in the bathroom where kids were changing.  I ask WHY she doesn't want to wear them. She tells me she doesn't want to wear them.....because it had been raining and they might get wrecked. 

She is very black and white.  I have numerous shades of gray.  This has caused many clashes in our family.
I need to start asking why or what the thoughts are BEFORE I think she is just being defiant.  I need to realize that the extra time spent finding out more about the thought process actually saves time from frustration when we are both working toward different goals.  Also there are many times I am more worried about what others will think than about how she feels.

Lots to work on, but even just writing this out helps me remember that the frustration passes.  Sometimes we will be working toward the same thing, but there will be many times we will not.  How I choose to handle is going to a big part of how she learns to deal with other people.  Work in progress.....always.  Keep learning.  Remembering that at all times, love covers many family issues.....even ADD.

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