Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ADHD Returns and Only Reason With Your Kid When You Are Both Happy

What a rollercoaster! He's up, I'm down, I'm up, he's down - and this is just between Preston and I,  not to mention the other two kids and my husband! I was really struggling last week with keeping my cool and my patience and my optimism and then I figured out the big reason why - and yes, it IS PMS. The 'P' for 'pre' is really the key here. After 30+ years I'm finally starting to understand the signals my body gives me (apparently I'm a slow learner or there really is something to the whole 'the frontal lobe doesn't get close to being fully developed until the age of 25' - so I'm just a little slow) and I noticed that for the three days prior to my period I have no tolerance. Pretty much zip, zilch, nada. I don't even have it in me to be 'mostly pleasant.' On Saturday I was downright grumpy and ready to pounce at a moment's notice! At any rate, I decided that without going into the full details of my 'ailment' with my kids, I was going to buy or make a small flag (Don't Tread On Me would be a good one, or just a white 'I Surrender' flag would work as well) to hang or place in the kitchen along with a 1, 2 and 3 number countdown to alert every one that the dreaded 'three days' has begun and to not mess with Texas (and in this case, I'm Texas). Then the household peeps might be a little more leary of picking a fight because I will actually fight back with them and it won't be pretty.

That aside, it really was an up and down week. Preston, who has been doing absolutely AMAZING at school with no missing assignments and actually completing homework did get his first 'Think Time' and I got a call from the teacher regarding an inappropriate behavior (cue ADHD impulse factor). She was very sweet and went on and on about how well Preston has been doing - especially with his Science Experiment presentation which he 'got up there and took charge' -  but he just had a lapse in judgement in which she didn't even think he was thinking; he just went on autopilot. And that is ADHD for you - not thinking from beginning to end, considering what it his actions mean and the ramifications. I had a little chat with him and told him that we were going to button down the hatches a little more firmly with this particular behavior which could result in more time-outs. Unfortunately, I'm not takin' prisoners on this one, he will go straight to his room to serve his '9.' That also means I'm going to have to up the anty with the positive to negative ratio's and make sure to get in our one- on-one time.

And with all that being said, here is the nugget of wisdom for the week:

The only time to reason with a kid is when you are happy and they are happy.

This is true even of adults. Have you ever noticed when you are bickering with your spouse that if you are upset, nothing he says makes senses? It just makes you madder? And the more I try to talk sense to my husband when he is upset, the more he rejects it. This is human nature - the rational part of brains shuts off and the irrational part takes over. When things start to get heated, I do not engage any further. If he keeps pushing, I walk away. And I readily tell him that 'my monkey is waking up' (the irrational half of my brain) and we'll have to come back to it or let it go. Well, if we can't expect adults to be rational when upset, how in the world can we expect that of kids? Anything you say when your kid is angry will fall on deaf ears. This is when you get to decide to come back to it if it is a big deal, or simply time the kid out and let it go. This one takes major effort and self-discipline and practice. But it can and should be done. Employ and enjoy.

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