Are ADHD parents, who think fast, at an advantage over a slow-thinker like me when it comes to parenting fast-moving ADHD kids?
by Kay Marner
Parenting an ADHD child demands quick thinking, and my brain likes to pick the worst possible times to react slowly -- or, even worse, go completely blank.
My ADHD daughter Natalie grabs the cat and squeezes too hard.
“Let him go, Natalie.” She keeps squeezing.
“He’s going to bite you!” She flips him over, tummy up, and tries to kiss him on his kitty-lips.
“Let Smokey go before I count to five or...” Or what? Her Nintendo DS is broken; I can’t take that away. It’s pouring rain, so she won’t care if I take away her electric scooter. She has Tae Kwon Do tonight, so I can’t take away playing with friends -- she won’t have time to do so anyway. What else? What else? Think! By the time I come up with an effective “or I’ll,” we’ve moved on to “get down off the counter before I...” Before I what?
Those everyday brain-blips are frustrating, but my neuro-traffic jams are really tough when Natalie’s in the throes of a major meltdown. My molasses-brain could result in Natalie hurting herself or me, breaking toys or dishes, shoving tables into walls, tipping over chairs.
I have one final fall-back strategy for those times when my brain fails me, when I can’t come up with a parenting strategy effective enough, fair enough, creative enough.
I simply hold (read: restrain) Natalie, make sure my hands, cheek, or lips are touching skin, close my eyes, and concentrate as hard as I can on filling her with love.
Does it help? Not a bit. It does absolutely nothing. But as the last resort of a slow-thinker, I could do worse.
I wonder -- are ADHD parents, who think fast anyway, at an advantage over a slow-thinker like me when it comes to parenting fast-moving kids with ADHD?