1. "When a child with ADHD has trouble complying, the parents cannot help reacting with greater direction, control, suggestion, encouragement, and ultimately anger."
2. "Research on the interactions between children with ADHD and other adults and children outside the family, such as teachers and peers, shows that when the children with ADHD are placed in a classroom, teachers, like mothers, are likely to increase their commands to, reprimands of, and discipline of the children. "
3. "When children with ADHD first enter a new play group, the other children will start to act like "little mothers"--giving more commands, directions, and help to the children with ADHD."
4. "Over time...parents proceed straight to the last strategy of management that produced some partial success. This can readily lead to immediate negative reactions or harsh physical discipline when the children start to show even minimal disruptive behavior."
5. "When children with ADHD are placed on stimulant medication, the use by mothers, teachers, and peers of commands, disapproval, and general control diminishes to that seen with children who do not have ADHD, and the interactions become generally more positive."
Pretty darn depressing, no?
I've been thinking a lot lately about my ability to be calm, patient, and positive even when I'm repeating directions to my kiddo for the 423rd time. I think that typically, I'm able to be really upbeat and to throw a little humor into the situation, or to set a time limit for when I want a direction to be completed, or to use some strategy that gains compliance eventually. But sometimes, especially if we're in a hurry to get out the door, or if I'm trying to juggle too many tasks in my head, my reserve for being kind and patient and upbeat can become almost nonexistent.
I'm working on it.
And trying to figure out what resources I need to keep things on a positive cycle. Because obviously, given those scary things I've read recently, it's easy to fall into a negative, controlling, demeaning cycle with kiddos with ADHD. And that is the last thing I want to do with my sweet girl.
What helps you maintain a positive frame of mind when dealing with the hard stuff involved in parenting? Or even if you don't have kids--how do you keep yourself patient and kind with those you love?
By the way, the scary quotes are from a really wonderful book (with just a few scary parts, I promise!) called Taking Charge of ADHD, by Russell Barkley, Ph.D.