ADD and The Diva

My daughter, ‘The Diva’, falls into every category for ADD – so what now? I have re-read resources on the schedule 2 drugs normally prescribed and there are times that I stop and think ‘ WOW! miracle cure’… and then I keep reading…

I went looking for a condensed list of side effects to post, but every site I hit had such a long stream of them that they had to be broken down into categories!

Imagine that!

I am still at the beginning of my journey with ADD so my technical knowledge is a little light but let me share with you what I’ve learned so far, at least regarding my own child:

The more I educate myself on this subject the better I am able to care for my child

I have always viewed my daughter as naughty, always. This fact was so confusing to me as I am a very strict mommy and yet no matter what I tried, she was ‘fearless’. I have, until now, never really stopped to consider that there might be something else at play. The one good thing in dealing with her hysterical teachers is that it forced me to ask better questions regarding my daughters behaviour.

Once I removed the ‘naughty badge‘ and replaced it with a ‘thinks differently badge‘, things started to make sense. I added to that process by changing the way I dealt with my expectations of her – I began to assist her in the areas where she struggled.

Up until a few weeks ago I shouted and performed when it took her an hour to get dressed because she was daydreaming, I jumped up and down when she took forever to pack her schoolbag or clean her room. I responded with anger when she repeated obviously bad behaviour time and time again and so the list went on.

When her teachers started shouting ADD, I started reading – scouring the internet for anything I could find to help me understand what it meant – and I went cold. My little one fitted perfectly into every description, even things like impulse control. She is nicknamed ‘The Diva’ because she is a total drama queen when she has to leave a family gathering, child’s party, a shop she likes, book she’s busy with etc, etc.

I was gobsmacked! All these things that I had put down to pure devilment were in fact an indicator that her brain was in fact processing differently. She wasn’t trying to be horrid, her brain was simply going left instead of right. All the shouting, all the threats, reward and punishment systems I’d tried were never going to work.

She was behaving and responding differently because she was thinking and experiencing things differently!

Hardcore drugs were not an option, not now, not ever. I started chatting to local homeopaths and decided that until both my daughter and I found a better way to function, a little natural help would probably be a good idea. So I stocked up on vitamins, a natural remedy packed with Omega3 to help her concentrate and a light homeopathic anxiety tablet for the times she was clearly spinning on ‘crazy’ energy.

Then I began to involve myself in ALL of her physical requirements. I stopped yelling out a list of ‘make your bed type instructions’ and began to do things with her. We are still in the experimental stage, but so far, so good. I now give her small, concise instructions, no multi-tasking just yet. One thing at a time, to re-build her confidence in herself and her abilities. I praise her for each time she listens and follows through, I gently remind her when she ‘dreams off’.

The biggest change for me in this process is MY perspective. Because I’m beginning to understand how she thinks, I am slowly adapting. I am willing to be flexible whereas before I was a rigid taskmaster. I am happy to repeat myself, I am happy to assist her.

In our modern lives we are always rushing and yelling at our kids because time is of the essence. My daughter does not respond well to that. I am learning to be far more organised in order to give her time to do things without stress. I am walking every step of the way teaching and re-teaching the basics. I no longer take for granted that she will automatically understand how to do things – she doesn’t think like me, so why would she respond like me?

Thus far she has flourished from this new way. She loves that I no longer glare at her with disapproval, she loves that I am trying to understand. She’s responding well to a mommy that actually listens to everything instead of brushing her off with a new list of demands. I have learned to pay attention to all her thoughts, her stories and especially the weird day dreamy stuff – because often those are the things that matter the most to her.

She is calm, willingly involved in everything and excited about how often she is now praised. Her ‘crazy’ only peaks when she is especially tired and even there she is slowly learning restraint, funny enough at the same speed that I am……..

It’s early days yet and we both have loads to learn. My ultimate goal is for my child to be fully aware of her strengths and weaknesses and to accept the things that are tough with self love and good grace and to embrace the things that come naturally with joy and confidence.

For now I am walking this road closely with her, teaching her as much as I can so that one day she will be able to take hold of, and accept responsibility for, her life and her actions.

We have experienced more joy and success in the last 2 weeks than in the last 8 years!

A new perspective can truly create a new life!

Of course mommy can’t come to school with her – and that still remains the domain of inflexibility, impatience and narrow mindedness……….just like the world at large.

Helping my child will take time. Our kids are not 2 minute noodles. The principal is going to have to understand that instant gratification will not be in her Christmas stocking this year, at least not regarding ‘The Diva!’

Barring a lotto win, my baby will have to remain in the public school system. She will have to learn to adapt enough to keep them mollified. As for ‘them’……….they’ve had enough time to explore new ways of doing things. Our kids have been struggling with ADD for decades, they’ve taken all the strain and done all the work.

I think it’s high time the teachers took up the slack and began helping them and not drugging them. I know most of them will hate this idea, and that’s ok.

I am willing to help them in this process….

After all, I have to do something with my now defunct ‘sergeant major’ skills………

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