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9 Things People Say to People with ADHD

Debunking ADHD Myths
 
Hi there! I have neglected you!
 
The past few weeks have been busy and overwhelming and when the overwhelm comes, I typically go hermit. I think its a fight or flight thing. It’s definitely an ADHD thing. This brain of mine, while capable of achieving incredible things, is also incapable of managing the mundane. Things like making sure there is enough toilet paper in the house and remembering to actually look at the to-do list I naively wrote on Sunday night, convinced that this time I’d actually look at it and cross things off.
 
If you know anyone with ADHD, you’ll know well their pure intentions to do things. Depending on your level of interaction with them, you’re likely to be frustrated by their constant earnest promises to follow through and their subsequent failure to deliver. I’ll let you in on a little known fact: the person you’re disappointed in is exponentially disappointed with herself. That person is so beyond frustrated by her own broken promises that self-flagellation has become her default. That person who has let you down again doesn’t trust herself anymore because of the countless times she’s been proven wrong and discovered that her memory has failed her again.
 
And then, someone tells her ADHD isn’t real.
 
Today I want to share with you 9 things people often say to people with ADHD and then I’ll addmy two cents.

ADHD Myth #1

ADHD Myths debunked.You’re right. Everyone does have “ADHD moments”. Everyone forgets things sometimes, everyone gets distracted now and again, we’ve all struggled to focus on boring tasks from time to time, we’ve all experienced walking into a room and forgetting why we’re there. Absolutely. These are all ADHD traits and there’s not a human alive that can’t relate to every single one.
 
But, and this is a big BUT, the difference between neurotypical people and ADDers is that people with ADD / ADHD experience all of these traits all of the time. Let me be clear – there is not a moment in our lives when we have a clear head and uninterrupted thoughts. There isn’t a day when we experience the peace of knowing exactly what we have to accomplish and know that we can do it.
 
Every conversation with other people is a fight to stay focused and quiet not only the outside distractions but also our own internal dialogue. It’s like attempting to hold a conversation in the middle of a kindergarten classroom – every thought is loud and demanding immediate attention. Our brains are noisy and chaotic. Every time we attempt to remember what we are supposed to be doing, another mental crisis jumps the queue and BAM, we’re fighting distraction. This is not a ‘sometimes’ thing. It is perpetual. Day and night. (Hello, insomnia!) It’s why we drive you insane with our interrupting and talk at the speed of a running-late bullet train. We are trying to expel the thoughts from our heads to make space to be able to listen to you.

ADHD Myth #2:

ADHD Myths debunked.Spend the day in our shoes. No, scrap that – spend a day in our heads and then say that again with a straight face. The drug companies that make ADHD / ADD medication are most definitely making money off people diagnosed with ADHD / ADD, no argument on that front. So are the drug companies that sell insulin to Diabetics and Viagra to people with Erectile Dysfunction. As are the companies that sell glasses to people with Vision Impairment and hearing aids to the Hearing Impaired. ADHD / ADD is no less real than Diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction or Vision and Hearing Impairment.
 
Would you tell a Diabetic to try harder to manage his diet because his Diabetes isn’t real and his sugar crashes are simply a result of his own laziness and lack of effort to manage his own sugar intake? After all, you also have sugar crashes from time to time so really, we’re all a little Diabetic, if you think about it.
 
No? Because that’s ridiculous and insulting, right? It would be an insensitive and uneducated stance, wouldn’t it? It would, in fact, make you look like an ass of epic proportions and you’d never think of thinking it, never mind saying it.
 
Now, try to imagine the frustration that we ADDers feel when we hear this statement, again and again, delivered with a smug expression and a truckload of judgement. Read the rest of this entry

No, Lil Wayne is not raising my children.

Image Today at Mamapedia, Dave Room, of Heal Our World, Heal Ourselves has posted a piece titled, “Are Lil Wayne, Zombies and Minecraft Raising Your Children?” Having checked out Dave’s website, I’m pretty sure he’s a good guy with pure intentions, so I’m going to ignore the wholly unsubstantiated statistic about Latino and black kids (true or not, there is no source quoted and there really is no relevance to the content anyway) and hope this wasn’t intended to offend. The article itself asserts that technology is changing the wiring of our kids’ brains and making our kids more violent, foul-mouthed and immoral. On the surface, I guess I’d agree. A little bit. No… not really, now that I’ve begun to think about it in the context of my kids. Does technology affect our kids’ developing brains? ABSOLUTELY. Do violent video games and music with foul, degrading lyrics have a negative effect on our kids? In my opinion, WITHOUT QUESTION. Is excessive screen time bad for our little ones? Excessive ANYTHING is bad for our kids. I guess what I am saying is that this article deals too much in absolutes. It deals in blacks and whites (in more ways than one, clearly). It assumes that parents are either going to be The Bradys or they’re the Octomom. Life isn’t like that! Of course there are days when my kids watch way more TV that is good for them (appallingly too much, sometimes). Is it every day? Not a chance. They also do sport, play with friends and go to school. Do they listen to gangsta rap? Hell, no. Know why? Because their playlists are monitored by me. Sure, they ask to download songs their friends are listening to, with lyrics that are less than wonderful. Mostly, I allow them to get them anyway. It opens a window to talk about the incredible power of words and how we have the choice to use creative and interesting words to weave together magical stories or throw together really ugly ones and show ourselves to be ugly people. By facing the real world, we have the chance to have discussions about how much we value ourselves and how our words are the clothes of our character. Miss M certainly didn’t start yelling, “F*&k you!” after she heard the Cee Lo Green song at a friend’s house. She came to me and giggled and told me what she had heard and we talked about it. My kids know curse words exist but they also know that they’re not going to try include them in their day-to-day language. They don’t swear because we parent them, we guide them, we show them the world and help them to navigate through it. Hiding technology from them isn’t going to teach them anything. Minecraft has given my kids an intensely creative outlet. I’ve heard that there’s a violent side to the game but I certainly haven’t seen it when my kids play. They are far more interested in what they can create that what they can destroy. In fact, I’m pretty sure that they have no idea that you CAN destroy anything. Miss M and Little Man get together with their friends (the one situation, mind you, that they adore each other’s company!) and strategise. They make alliances and they relish in the deeply creative imaginary worlds they are creating. As far as I see it, this is a wonderfully positive experience for them. On the flip-side, (and I have to be absolutely honest) when time’s up and I send them outside to play, withdrawal does set in. If I let them, they would be glued to their iPods all day. Tonight, my daughter spent two hours on the computer. She is ten. *gasp* She wasn’t looking at porn or killing zombies. Nor was she watching lewd music videos. She was immersed in the challenge of achieving a higher personal score on….MATHLETICS. Screen time ain’t all bad. Sure, it has the potential to be very dangerous, if parents don’t supervise, monitor and guide their kids. The thing is, this isn’t unique to screen time. Kids left unsupervised at a swimming pool could drown. Kids left unsupervised in a shopping centre could be abducted. Kids left unsupervised at home could burn the house down. The issue here is not technology. The issue is parenting. White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or Smurf for that matter – we all need to guide our kids, teach them about this world and all the opportunities out there as well as the dangers. We need to educate them, build up their self-worth enough that they CHOOSE to raise themselves above the lowest common denominator. It’s our job to raise our kids. If they grow up to be chauvinistic, racist, bigoted, foul-mouthed, abusive, aggressive adults… let’s just say, it wasn’t the TV that did it. Mmmkay? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you liked this post, please share it with your friends using the icons below, and I’ll love you intensely if you click the thumbs-up button at the bottom of this post. I’d really love to hear your comments, so please don’t be shy (comments make me do a happy dance). 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I don’t love all my children the same.

I don't love all of my children the same I have  a confession. When I was expecting Little Man, I suffered terrible, unspeakable guilt. You see, I knew that there was no way I could possibly love this new baby as much as I loved Miss M.  Miss M was so beautiful, so clever, so funny. She was my baby girl and I adored her with every cell in my body. Sure I understood, on a logical level, that parents love all their kids the same (hadn’t my own parents told my siblings and I that all the time, like a mantra?) but in my heart…in my gut, I was certain that it simply wouldn’t be possible for me. Miss M was the light of my life and I couldn’t fathom how on earth another child could inspire the love in me that she had. So I cried. I beat myself up. I knew I must be a bad mother. Read the rest of this entry

10 Ways to Rock at Motherhood.

Dear Mom,

I realise more and more that I am the Mum I am because of the mother you were. Here are some of the valuable lessons you’ve taught me along the way.

1. Believe in magic

From the time I was born, magic existed in my life. It was first revealed to me when you magically appeared from behind a fluffy blanket in peek-a-boo. I discovered it again in the tiny, glitter-encrusted note from the tooth fairy and the equally glittery trail that she left to the window. (Even when I realized you were the Tooth Fairy, I continued the pretense for the sheer magic it created in my life.) Magic was in the tree at the bottom of the garden, where the tree elves would enjoy the feast my siblings and I had painstakingly set up for them (they left crumbs and a very polite thank you note, suspiciously in your handwriting). I discovered that I could magically make people smile, just by smiling myself. Together, we discovered my inner-magic – my ability to do things I never knew I could, from traversing monkey bars to speaking solo in front of my entire school. I learnt the magic of envisioning something and making it happen. As I grew up, you showed it to me in more sophisticated ways. You showed be by achieving unachievable things yourself. My stay-at-home mom wrote books, plays, television shows and got them published – you showed me by your actions that I, too, could one day make obstacles disappear. Your mantra was always “Show me where it is written that I cant do this.”

2. Don’t follow the herd.


I am a passionate person. So are you. You taught be to stand by what I believe, whether it makes me popular or not. I can’t count the number of times I sat on your lap, howling and crying crocodile tears because I had been ostracized for not doing what the cool kids expected of me. You gave me comfort, let me cry and always told me you were proud that I’d chosen the high road that led to your lap, rather than going against my conscience in order to fit in. I learned that sometimes the cool crowd aren’t that cool…sometimes the cool crowd are really the cowardly crowd. You taught me that not only is it okay to be me, it is, in fact, the most important thing in the world. You were never part of a herd and you are fabulous. I learned that my quirks make me fabulous too. Read the rest of this entry

Fairy princess tea parties are seriously underrated.

Today, I needed Miss G to sleep. I had a lot of work to do and not much time. We spent the morning doing ‘special girl stuff’ like ballet and playing princesses with her best little friend EVER in the whole wide world, we ate lunch and I popped her into bed for a nap at midday, confident that I’d get an hour of work done as she slept.
Miss G, of course, insisted on napping in a purple fairy dress and ballet shoes – so she could have fairy dreams. Of course. I kissed her goodnight, wished her the fairyest of all fairy dreams and ran off to the study to work.
fairyprincess
Naturally, after fifteen minutes, I heard movement.
I sneaked down the passage to her bedroom and there she was, dancing in front of the mirror to Baby Mozart and declaring to her teddies that she was, without doubt, the prettiest fairy princess of all time. When she looked up and saw me, a look of pure panic registered on her face. Busted.