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December 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm #70410Pump2DuncanParticipant
We have a pretty large family, so there are usually multiple family members with us. Last week I got the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with just me and my ADHD son that wasn’t centered around a school activity, a doctors appointment, a counseling session or treatment of some sort. Some truly just normal Mom/Kid time that was just me and him. Dinner and picking out a Christmas present for Dad. Simple enough. And I was excited. So was he. But I’m much more introverted and quiet. I’m the person that is perfectly content to be left alone watching people at a party.
I found it hard though to keep up with him. By the end of the night I felt edgy and like I had let him down. He excitedly told me detail about everything he had learned in every class. What he had been thinking about. And then our food arrived. By the end of the meal, I was still pretty good. He was so excited to pick a present out for Dad. The amount of choices were endless, so it became clear early on I’d have to help steer him to proper picks..LOL. It took awhile but we got it handled and he was happy, but I was tired. The talking never stopped. I will say though, he was good. He was very well behaved, no poor manners or anything like that. Just a difference in our personalities.
And it dawned on me. I use the other people in the family as a sort of buffer. And that made me sad. I don’t want to do that. He just wants to connect with me, how to I connect with him? Other family members came home and he very happily told them about the evening we had, so I don’t think he picked up on my tiredness – or how for the last 20 minutes of our evening all I was able to say was the occasional “uh-huh”. He had a blast. I want to do it again with him, but this time with more authentic joy. Any pointers?
December 14, 2017 at 11:12 am #70480Penny WilliamsKeymaster
I know how you feel, also introverted and quiet (and social anxiety). I find a lot of talking, especially when I’m not interested in the subject, very exhausting. That’s true from my kids as well. One good strategy is to limit how much time you’re spending together without a “buffer.” The same number of hours overall, but break it into smaller, more frequent together times. Figure out the point at which you check out, and schedule mom/kid time for a little less than that.
See if you can find some activities that you both really enjoy that you can do together, too. That will help with the authentic joy factor.
I’m honest with my kids about my threshold. “My brain gets so overwhelmed after a few minutes of non-stop talking that I can’t process what you’re saying anymore. I want to listen to everything you have to say, so let’s try to keep it to 15 minutes of you talking and me listening at one time. Ok?” Be sure you’re saying it in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they’re doing something wrong or annoying you.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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