Levi’s had one of those rough & extra wild mornings today.
We made a plan as he ate breakfast and took his medication:
1. Turn a movie or music on the iPad and clean your room a bit. (There’s choking hazards for Tripp, our dog, on the floor—popped balloons from big sister’s birthday).
2. Then, come outside.
I’d just settled into working when I could hear him in the house from all the way out in my little cabin.
It’s hard to explain, but it’s mostly very loud outbursts and loud movement (like stomping across the house). Very erratic and almost attention-seeking, but moreso impulsive.
It’s more than just a kid being a kid.
I was irritated for being interrupted, plus two people are still sleeping, one who worked all night. My body grew tense with “How dare he!” level anger.
I go back inside to find he got into something he shouldn’t (that was on top of the refrigerator).
People who don’t believe in ADHD would top-down punish or spank their kid into order.
2 years ago, I would’ve freaked out on him!!
I would’ve barked at him for being disrespectful when people are sleeping, getting into my things, and disobeying our plan! I’d scare him into crying while thinking he “learned his lesson.”
How naive I was.
A year ago, I would’ve attempted to share the same message, only softer and with more empathy + input (ideas) from him.
I’d hope to Plan B the situation (The Explosive Child book method). He would get louder than I (to drown me out) by singing or laughing or would run and hide.
I would just wind up even more frustrated and feeling powerless + totally defeated.
Today, I see these moments as not my son. Not my Levi.
“He’s not there right now,” is exactly what goes through my mind. This thought controls my actions. It soothes my feelings, spurs my patience, and then I let go. I let go of control and yet I’m in total control.
I still call him out, but I’ve *accepted* who he is in these moments.
How sweet and freeing this is on my momma spirit!! ✨
I didn’t lecture.
I told him to look at the choices he’s currently making, reminded him of our plan, and I walked away, back outside with the iPad.
(We can course correct later, if needed.)
Why? Because I know—like clockwork—that the truth of my son’s character will return about 20 minutes once his medication kicks in. I won’t even need to talk about it with him later…
It wasn’t even 20 minutes and he came out to apologize and hug me… then went back inside to finish his room without me asking.
No yelling or threats or an attempt for in-depth convo about feelings (when he’s not capable of listening or willing to hear or to express his own in words).
The parenting growth Dave and I have made has had a direct impact on how Levi responds in these hard moments.
And, depending on the kid, *the right* store-bought working neurons to balance the chemistry in their brain are necessary.
I talk a lot about the progress *Levi’s* made… and he has 🥰🥰🥰
In truth, Dave and I have been actively unlearning conditioned parenting and often taking pause to see our son for who he. What we didn’t know, but now have witnessed, is that this is 100% every bit as important as understanding and managing ADHD symptoms.
You have to be willing to let go of the idea that you’re trying to “fix” a set of symptoms. You have to accept that this isn’t going away. It’ll get better, but you’ll only reach THRIVING when you examine (and examine and examine) you bring into your ADHD child’s experiences.
**We are as much to blame as ADHD itself for the struggles our family has had.**
I’m proud of us and cheering you on if you’re in a version of this too. 🙏🏼