Reply To: Questioning, Conversation Behaviors causing problems

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Oh man. I thought it was just my son’s curiosity too until I read this, haha. It wears us all down! Sometimes he just doesn’t even care to listen to the answer because he has already moved on to some other question in his mind.

I have ADD too, so listening to his questions politely is about the hardest thing in the world for me. I think you are right, though. It is important for her to be taught those social cues by you. So sorry she is getting teased. That is always heartbreaking. I wonder if it would be helpful if you discussed the problem and possible solutions with her in a way that helps her come to the conclusion herself that she needs help knowing when to ask and when to stay quiet. That way you can teach her in a way that says, “I am here to help you solve the social problems you are having because I love you and want you to be healthy and happy” instead of “Your questions are stupid” (not that you would have said that).

Love and Logic has some strategy for this type of problem solving, though I forget the details. I think it looks something like this:

Kid comes to you with problem (I am being teased for asking obvious questions.)

Parent empathizes (I am so sorry. That must be really hurtful for you.)

Parent asks child if she wants help. (Would you like to hear what I have seen other 14 year olds do in this situation? Or would you like to hear what I did when I faced something similar?)

Child says no.

Parent offers encouragement (Well, you are a great problem solver. I am sure you will be able to work through this and I am always here to help)

Child says yes.

Parent lists possible ideas. Kids usually throw out the first idea, so save your good ideas til the end. Give only a few ideas. (1. Well, you could just ignore the teasing)

Kid responds.

(2. You could…)

Kid responds.

(3. We could practice identifying important questions versus obvious questions. Would that be helpful?)

Again, that is just from memory, so I don’t know if it is right on with the Love and Logic model, but you might look it up.

With my own ADD, I have to say that sometimes my brain goes on “auto-pilot” and doesn’t even really realize what my mouth is saying. Many times my friends have said, “But you just said…” and I am like, “What the heck are you talking about?!” I have even agreed to do things for people on auto-pilot! Not a good habit. Also, my brain knows answers that just aren’t getting accessed quickly enough, even super obvious answers or words that I definitely know but can’t find. Mix that with impulsiveness and you start asking dumb questions out loud and then answering them yourself with a face palm.

A lot of times the instant I see someone’s puzzled expression right after I ask a question, I realize I should have known the answer and now this person thinks 1. I am stupid 2. I did not care to listen to what she has been saying 3. I am losing it.

I am 30 years old and had a late diagnosis. Since I didn’t know it was ADD, I developed major social anxiety from this “dumb question” habit.

Maybe some practice in mindfulness and a good sense of humor. Hope things improve for her! Being a teen is hard enough.