My son has ADHD and sometimes that just seems like a catch-all diagnosis. Through the years, there have been those who didn’t completely think that ADHD was a “thing” and there have been those who thought it was as simple as taking away sugar. And there have been those who didn’t think I should have been giving him medication. (Those people never had to survive the days with him before he was diagnosed, haha.) I used to be embarrassed to admit that he took anything. I’m not anymore. Maybe that’s because my own adventures in antidepressants made me a believer or maybe I’m finally learning how not to worry about what other people think. Sigh, it’s probably the first one. 🤣
THIS IS REAL LIFE
Anyway, even with all this confidence in medicine and belief in the legitimacy of ADHD, it’s easy to forget, you know, during day to day life. Resuming homeschooling has definitely been a smack in the face reminder that the struggle is real.
But, sometimes, I don’t feel like remembering or taking it seriously; like when chores are involved!
The other day, I had reminded him for like the 100th time to take all of the trash out when taking the trash out. I pointed out that some things had fallen out of the can and were taking on seemingly permanent residence on the floor of the cabinet. (I only said the last part in my head.) After several times of him not taking ALL the trash out, I was at my wits’ end. I pulled everything out of the cabinet so that a bunch of loose trash was spread on the kitchen floor. Now, in my head, I was just making it impossible to miss it, but really, I was being petty. Whether or not, I wanted to admit that at the time, I was. 😥
TAKE OUT THE TRASH!
So, he took all the floor trash out, with attitude. That only annoyed me further, but whatever. But, when I came in to the kitchen and saw that he had actually managed to miss some of the impossible to miss trash, I was very close to losing it. Since what he missed was an empty Tide bottle that I had previously been harping on, I truly thought it was deliberate. So when he came back downstairs, I tried to ask him. I really wanted to clarify but before I could get the words out, he told me to “shut up.”
Naturally, I reacted calmly as I took his disability into account. We had a calm discussion and no further voices were raised.
Are you buying it?
Nah, I got mad, really mad. I said many things, loudly. But, my main focus was that he owed me a spectacular apology.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
He stormed to his room and I did the same. What can I say? I needed a cooling off opportunity, too. 😄 It wasn’t long before the apology came via text. He said he was sorry but that wasn’t the noteworthy part. He said that when I try to make him feel stupid, it sets him off. Thud.
Well, that just broke my heart. Never would I try to make him feel stupid, but apparently I was, anyway. We continued talking through text. We talked about his difficulty with staying focused and remembering what he is supposed to do. After the conversation, all was well; on the surface, anyway. But, I was dealing with the reminder that I needed to adjust my expectations. (Yeah, I know, that’s kind of true for all kids.) And, I was analyzing how I interact with him. I couldn’t change him so I had to change me. Because even if I love him with my whole heart, which I do, if he doesn’t feel it, what’s the point?
TIME TO DO BETTER
So the next time that I saw the trash left behind, I bit my tongue and dealt with it myself. Sure, it was an extra annoyance but my son went to bed that night, feeling like he had been successful and not like he had been belittled by his mother. Fair trade. I’d say. I know that I won’t always get this right, but that night I did. And, well, that’s a start.