The frustrations and aggravations of daily life with ADHD well up inside Hadley until she explodes. In kindergarten, this is not OK, so we're working on self-calming techniques that mom could benefit from, too.
by Sarah Kaczmarek
"Kids don't explode for no reason."
I've heard this more than once in the last two weeks, and I have to agree. I'm not condoning acting out. But since Hadley's behavior began deteriorating last month, I have suspected something bigger is going on here. This isn't my girl.
I've seen devastation on my daughter's face and heard painful cries that I feared would emerge in high school -- not in kindergarten. This has weighed heavily on both of us over her Spring Break. We’ve spent her break discussing calming strategies that including counting while pressing her fingers together, and breathing in and out. And slowly Hadley has opened up about what's causing here to act out. We've practiced what to do when someone says something mean, does something she doesn't like, or when she's feeling frustrated during a task.
We're working on verbalizing what we feel. Hadley has been able to say "I'm mad" or "I’m sad" when she is getting upset. The other day while driving I told my girls I was getting mad that they were arguing in the back seat and Hadley says, "Okay, Mommy, let's count, 1,2,3,4,5... now press your fingers, shake it out. Now breathe in, breathe out."
Today she did the same thing during an appointment where she was being challenged. She stopped and started counting while pressing her fingers, then resumed the task -- showing more self awareness than most adults have. I know she's “getting it”, but I’m worried how this will go at school in the heat of the moment. I can only hold my breathe, and hope to exhale each day after school.