Five Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD – Part 5: We Make Our Partners Sick

Ok, it’s been a while and for good reason. I have mixed feelings about writing this particular blog. It’s uncomfortable for me, personally, but hopefully it serves a greater good.

 

5. We Make Our Partners and Spouses Sick.

 

Literally. And not the new version of “literally” that actually means “figuratively.” The original “literally.”

We might think of ourselves as a complete mess, screw-ups, or think we’re actually pretty chill. Maybe we feel that our “we’ll get there when we get there” vibe is really laid back and cool. Or maybe we just hate ourselves. Whatever. Other people hate it, for sure.

They hate the lateness, the forgotten conversations, the unreliability, the over-spending, the unnecessary arguments.

They hate second guessing themselves, second guessing you, and the perpetual feeling of waiting for the next disaster.

Don’t get me wrong, you and I are still incredibly lovable. Especially me. But being with us comes at a cost and that cost is stress. We often stress ourselves out, too. But its nothing compared to the tax we put on to the people that loves us.

It feels like the science of stress still has more discoveries to make, but we do know that there are a host of conditions that occur more frequently in stressed out people. From obesity, to memory impairment (how many spouses feel they caught their partner’s ADHD?), to full-blown autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia and lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and even skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Stress will kill you. And your loved ones, too, apparently.

It’s at this point I want to include an excerpt from Gina Pera’s book, “Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?” Her book came after a survey of couples with at least one ADHD partner. I highly recommend the book for all couples experiencing problems whether consciously due to their ADHD or not, but I include this passage specifically just to provide the scope of the problem:

We all have a physical “weak link” that gives way under prolonged stress. Sixty percent of ADHD Partner Survey respondents said that their physical health had worsened due to their partner’s behavior. Of those reporting poor health effects, here’s how it breaks down:

• Digestive-tract problems—Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcer, and similar (25 percent)
• Migraines or tension headaches (36 percent) Sleep loss, mostly related to ADHD partners’ erratic or noisy sleep habits, sleep apnea, or restless legs syndrome (49 percent)
• Chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia (19 percent)

Moreover, of those who reported adverse health consequences and are now separated or divorced from their ADHD partner, half reported their condition as much improved or in complete recovery.

All this isn’t to say that you’re a terrible person, or that any health issues your partner has are definitely, absolutely, and completely your fault. But it’s likely – at a minimum – that you’re not helping.

Solving this problem isn’t a fast one. The negative health consequences take time to develop and so also take time to heal. But the changes you need to make in order to reduce the emotional burden of your partner are often small. Here are some things you can try:

• If you’re not medicated, re-consider that choice. The biggest improvement you will see in your relationship and your partner’s health will come with you seeking help first.

• My wife and I have some topics we will forever fight about. So we just stopped talking about them. We don’t stop talking to each other completely, just made a conscious agreement to leave certain topics alone.

• Know yourself. If you know that you get easily overwhelmed by sensory things (loud TV, too many people, etc.) manage your own state and remove yourself from those situations before you get overloaded and turn into a dick.

• Have a mindset that involves taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life – or at least around your home. This is tougher to implement but costs us nothing. We often get a reputation for being defensive. We can have an excuse (“Hey! That’s a legitimate REASON, not an excuse!” Sure.) for everything. Just knock it off. If you’re late getting somewhere, it wasn’t the fault of traffic. It was your fault. Apologize and leave more time next time. If the living room is a mess – even if it’s not your stuff – picking up is now your responsibility. You can see it there so there’s nothing stopping you from just picking it up.

This is not to say that you now have to do everything around the house. I have a long Todo list that will never be cleared before I die. I can’t beat myself up for not finishing everything I want to do, because there are a million things I want to do. Likewise, you can’t turn to self-loathing because there’s a basket of unfolded laundry in your living room.

HOWEVER, if you find yourself reaching for an answer as to why you didn’t do something. If your partner is frustrated you didn’t do something or that you don’t remember having a conversation about doing something. If there’s about to be an argument about the basket of unfolded laundry in the middle of the living room… stop. It’s your fault. Even If that conversation really didn’t happen, you can still see the laundry, you can see it needs to be folded, so take responsibility. Even if that responsibility just involves saying “Sorry, I really needed to take a break and play Merge Dragons for half an hour. I’ll do it now.” You’re not passing on the responsibility. You’re owning it. Own everything.

Ok, that was much too long to be a single bullet point.

Give your partner time off. Make sure, if they’re not relaxing a couple of times a week, that you’re encouraging them to do so. And making them feel secure in doing so.

Reduce your own stress. Whether it’s better planning and organization, or taking up a sport or meditation. Do things to reduce your own stress and it will reduce the stress in your household.

Five Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD – Part 4: We Are Argumentative

Five Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD

 

4. We Are Argumentative (No, we’re not!)

 

Believe it or not, some people think I’m an asshole. Even the folks that love me. Prior to my diagnosis I just thought I was a uniquely gifted contrarian, endowed with super-human debating skills and an anti-authority streak running to my core.

 

However, after reading about adult ADHD, how it affects our relationships, and common complaints from our friends and families, it turns out I’m not so unique. ADHD, in both adults and children, can cause us to be argumentative. In fact, it’s incredibly common. Go to any ADHD forum and watch the sparks fly, it’s majestic.

 

Usually we’re not trying to be an asshole, and we hold no ill-will towards the person we’re arguing with. In fact we might feel closer to them than other people. So what’s really going on here?

 

The reasons behind it are multi-faceted and some have a positive side to them.

 

Stimulation

First, and most obviously, we have a dopamine deficiency. Fighting raises the dopamine, so just like anything else that raises dopamine, we’re prone to overindulge. Pretty straight forward. But it’s not the whole story.

 

A Different Point of View

Due to the way we process things we often see things from a different point of view, anyway, but add to that our love of all things novel and new, and we’re also likely to acquire new and interesting ways of looking at things, too. We create more opportunities to argue by having a set of ideas and outlooks that diverges from our neurotypical, normie, counterparts.

 

A Sense of Fairness

I have no data to support this and almost didn’t include it. But I have no reputation to uphold, so what the hell; anecdotally people with ADHD seem to have a heightened reaction to injustice. All people have an innate sense of fairness that drives them. But ADHDers seem like that’s been turned up to 11 in many cases. Not in my case personally, but I’ve seen a lot of it. Just thinking to my youngest son, if I say he can watch a movie later and it doesn’t happen (or whatever other injustice exists in the mind of a 6 year old) he can bring that up in conversation 2 months later, no problem. He can’t remember his best friend from 6 months ago, but if I don’t do what I say I will do… oh boy. It will not die.

Despite this being entirely rectally-derived, I’m still pretty confident this is a factor in how argumentative we can be. Not only do we like the dopamine hit, but if we get to pick apart a bully or someone being dishonest in the process, that’s a win-win, right?

 

Contrarian

To a certain extent, we do just enjoy going against the grain. Richard Branson, famous ADHDer, and self-made billionaire entrepreneur, attributes part of his success to “zagging while everyone else is zigging.” So if all the incumbent airlines are driving down costs at the expense of service quality, he’s going to create a service-oriented airline. That is very much part of the ADHD spirit. Everyone is raving about the latest movie? I’ll wait a decade to see it. I still haven’t seen Avatar.

 

It’s obvious how this mentality can lead to arguments. It’s not always negative for us, but in our personal relationships it’s obviously going to be a bit of an issue.

 

ODD

In children this can go even further, developing into a separate disorder known as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), where our kids will actively go out of their way to resist doing anything that they have been told to do.

 

There is still more research to be done here about what causes ODD, but estimates are that up to 65% of children with ADHD might also have ODD. I speculate that we all have this anti-authoritarian streak in us, that we absolutely can’t stand someone telling us what to do or being overbearing, but in a lot of cases, in younger children, this can rise to the point of qualifying for an ODD diagnosis.

 

It makes sense that if you’re not fully in control of your impulses, ticks, and quirks, you’re going to be resentful of being yelled at and given instructions after a while.

 

The best advice to avoid this and combat it when it develops is consistency in punishment (small, immediate punishments, that are directly related to the transgression), immediate forgiveness, and a relentless use of positive reinforcements, praising all the small, positive results in order to entice more of them. Try to make your (justified) bad temper not result in yelling too often. And even though they’re not, try to talk to your little one as if they’re an equal.

 

You can also turn things into choices that they get to make rather than instructions that they have to follow. Instead of, “time for breakfast, let’s get moving, sit at the table.” Maybe try out, “do you want Cheerios or oatmeal for breakfast this morning?” Or “do you want to help me make oatmeal this morning?” Even a simple change of framing like this can be useful.

Five Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD – Part 3: We Dominate Conversations

Five Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD

 

3. We Dominate Conversations

Every night in our house we sit down together, as a family, and eat dinner. And every night as we’re talking about our day our lovably oblivious 6-year-old will cut off someone midsentence and talk about something completely unrelated. If we’re lucky. If we’re not so lucky it will just be some loud, intrusive noise while he finger paints in his spaghetti sauce. But that’s for another blog post.

Our son’s impulsivity shows very clearly in these conversations no matter how many times we’ve tried to correct the behavior, he sill needs reminding daily. This is partly just his age but blurting out is also very much a feature of ADHD. One of the more obvious symptoms. As an adult, many of us will continue to suffer from this kind of impulsivity.

I am not one of those people. I’m reserved. Introverted. I don’t tend to blurt. So, imagine my surprise when I find out that I’m equally difficult to talk to.

What I had never realized but has been brought to my attention – thanks to my darling wife – is that I have some tendencies that make me equally nightmarish to converse with. These tendencies are also ADHD-related.

 

So, what’s my problem? The monologue.

With ADHD we have two very distinct modes: utterly obsessed and completely disinterested. No middle ground. Either something reliably captures our attention, or our body fights our every attempt to focus on it.

Holding my attention while disinterested is its own challenge. But more of an issue is when the conversation hits upon one of my “specialist subjects.” At that point it becomes less of a conversation and more of a data dump as I verbally download all the related materials I have acquired on the subject. It’s like they accidentally clicked on a pop-up ad and before they know it their hard drive is being filled up with terabytes of 1980s professional wrestling tapings, and they can’t close the window. Not what they had expected after casually exclaiming “Did you know Mr. T used to wrestle and is in the wrestling Hall of Fame?”

Warning! Abort! ...too late.

Like many people with ADHD, I’m a hoarder. But for me it’s not material possessions. I hoard information. Everything from books, to interesting datasets, to podcasts, to online courses. I’m curious and want to know all that I can. This can be as destructive as any other form of hoarding, if it’s not kept in check.

This compounds when the “utterly obsessed” switch gets flipped and turns a casual conversation into a 20-minute recounting of an information rabbit hole I fell down.

 

How does this relate to parenting?

From the parenting stand point there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s important to keep reinforcing the message that we don’t interrupt people. It will eventually stick… mostly. But also, as parents, we must lead by example. It’s important to be conscious that much of what our children learn is picked up by mimicking us. It’s one thing to say, “don’t interrupt.” It’s another to demonstrate the courtesy to others.

For monologuing, again, it’s important to lead by example and make sure that we’re paying attention to the reactions of the other person as we’re speaking. Making sure the other person is actually engaged in the conversation and not just being ‘talked at.’ And when we’re talking to kids, who inherently have short attention spans, we’re not overloading them with more information then can handle.

Our ADHD 6-year old can handle an information dump of about 10 seconds. If I’ve been talking longer than that then it’s a waste of my breath and, frankly, overwhelming. I’m often guilty of this most when giving him instructions.

Instead, try breaking instructions apart into smaller chunks – have them go away and do something, then come back for the next step. It’s easier on everyone involved.

If you’re on the receiving end of a monologue from your child, it’s a little trickier. You want to instill some social graces to help them get by, but at the same time you will want to encourage the things that they are passionate about.

What do you think? If you have an opinion on how to handle it, please send us a comment or respond to this article on Facebook.

Shhhhh!

5 Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD – Part 2: Easily Overstimulated

Five Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD

 

When we think about ADHD we conjure up images of little boys who can’t sit still – and God knows that’s definitely part of it – but it’s not even close to the whole picture. Writing about all the ways in which ADHD can affect your personality would be a book, not an article, so here’s the five common traits of ADHD that surprised me most.

 

  1. We are severely impacted by negativity.
  2. We are easily overstimulated, overwhelmed by loud sounds and crowds.
  3. We dominate conversations.
  4. We are argumentative.
  5. We are more prone to stress-related illnesses AND so are our partners.

 

In a series of articles, I will expand upon each of these traits.

 

2. We are easily overstimulated.

It’s widely known in the ADHD community that “ADHD” is a terrible label for how our brains function. First and foremost because we don’t have an attention deficit. Quite the contrary, we can’t stop paying attention to things. If something is interesting, then we’re hooked.  This openness to stimuli can be fantastic, but can also be a problem. It is very common for the stimuli to be too much and cause overwhelm. This can be caused by many different things:

  • Too much noise
  • Too many people in the room
  • Too much mess/clutter
  • People brushing against you
  • Someone eating loudly
  • The feeling of seams of your socks against your toes
  • Flashing lights
  • Too much movement
  • And more…

Any number of things can cause us to be overstimulated and this can tie into Sensory Processing Disorder in extreme cases.

When we’re overstimulated we typically react in one of two ways:

  • We get loud, boisterous, angry, or out of control.
  • We get withdrawn, anxious, tightly wound or highly strung.

I know personally that I can have either of these reactions. My mother (undiagnosed) tends to only really get withdrawn. My boys can have either reaction.

 

When the house is a mess of toys and projects, the TV is on, and the dog is running around looking for a playmate, I know it won’t be long before my 6 year old starts screaming like a maniac as his poor, under-siege brain, tries to deal with everything that’s going on. He can become frantic as he absent-mindedly acts on nothing but impulse.

 

In less familiar settings (i.e. a party somewhere he’s never been before with music and lots of people talking) he’s likely to become quiet, looked dazed and zombified as he tries to soak it all in. Not shy, not sad, just overloaded. His brain turns into a computer with too many applications running. You can hear the fan whirring but nothing seems to be responding.

 

Parenting

The biggest risk here, as a parent, is the potential for getting overwhelmed and blowing up at your kids or partner unnecessarily. I know I’m guilty of this from time to time, especially if I’m trying to focus on something else and there’s too much going on in the background. I can be extremely calm and patient right up to reaching my limit, then once I reach my limit a switch is flipped, the gates unlock, and the dragon emerges ready to burn everything to the ground. The level of frustration felt is disproportionate to what is going on.

 

Another issue is when the overstimulation causes your child to act out. As mentioned above, one of the reactions to being overstimulated can be for your child to lose control, become very loud, and maybe even become aggressive or destructive. When this goes beyond the limits of reasonable behavior it will start to cause them some problems.

 

Finally, whatever your child’s reaction – to become a handful or to withdraw – the feeling of being overstimulated is unpleasant, and we’ll often want to alleviate that for them if we can.

 

Things You Can Try

For adults with ADHD there are a few things you can try:

  • Pay attention to your emotional state
  • Remove yourself
  • Do something that recharges you
  • Have quiet time together
  • Change your plans
  • Remove the source of stimulation

 

If you are a parent with ADHD you can try to pay attention to your emotional state. Often times just being aware of what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it is enough to keep you from boiling over unnecessarily or disappearing into your iphone.

 

When you’re starting to get overwhelmed, take some sort of action to stop you losing your temper or zoning out entirely. If you have a partner who is able to tag in and let you have a few minutes to recuperate, that can be helpful. You will need to communicate that need and do something calming while having that time away.

 

It’s important to do something that recharges you. I personally find that if I used alone time to sit quietly or spend the time in the yard, doing something physical, or very purposefully relaxing, this recharges me much more than spending that same time on social media.

 

If you don’t have someone who can tag in for you, or the circumstances don’t allow it at that particular moment you can try having your quiet time with your child. I’ve found bribery to be effective here.

“I need a nap for 30 minutes, if you can stay in here and draw quietly, letting me sleep, we’ll get ice cream when I’m done.”

Besides, if you’re overstimulated there’s a good chance they are too.

 

Sometimes, the frustration is just born of trying to do one thing while the household demands another. If I’m getting stressed out by all the noise and chaos while I try to cook dinner, maybe I need to stop cooking dinner, order a pizza, and play with the kids. If you can’t beat ‘em…

 

Finally, and perhaps most obviously, if the environment is overwhelming, try to make it less so. Turn down the TV, put the dog in the yard, pick up some of the mess, try to distract the children with something less in-your-face.

 

For Children

For kids with ADHD it’s almost entirely about managing the environment. Recognize when they’re losing control or zoning out and have them do something less stimulating. Coloring, Play Doh, and Lego are all still favorites in our house. If I lead the way, sitting down to play with them for a few minutes, they’ll usually jump right in.

 

Sometimes you’re not going to pick up on it right away and they will pass the point of no return. As annoying as it is, try to be compassionate and stay positive as you try to bring them back to this dimension. They might be loud and unhinged but they really can’t help it at this point. Something like the “time in” I described in my last post is ideal for this scenario.

5 Things You Didn’t Know Were ADHD – Part 1: Rejection Sensitivity

When we think about ADHD we conjure up images of little boys who can’t sit still – and God knows that’s definitely part of it – but it’s not even close to the whole picture. Writing about all the ways in which ADHD can affect your personality would be a book, not an article, so here’s the five common traits of ADHD that surprised me most.

  1. We are severely impacted by negativity.

  2. We are easily overstimulated, overwhelmed by loud sounds and crowds.

  3. We dominate conversations.

  4. We are argumentative.

  5. We are more prone to stress-related illnesses AND so are our partners.

In a series of articles, I will expand upon each of these traits. In this article I focus on the first:

1. We’re severely impacted by negativity.

Technically this is labelled as Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria and is often considered a condition in its own right, but it’s incredibly common in people with ADHD to varying degrees. The way this shows up is how in-tune and hyper-aware we are to negative emotion and comments. When an ADHDer is criticized (or even just feels criticized) it can hit them hard. Sometimes this will lead them to pull away and other times it will lead them to come out all guns blazing in a “the best defense is a good offence” kind of way.

I suspect that many people who identify as a “Highly Sensitive Person” may have ADHD or rejection sensitivity.

In some people this will cause an all-out refusal to take responsibility for their actions. In others it will lead to increased negative self-talk, significantly lowered self-esteem, and apprehensiveness.

Now let me clarify: to some degree many neuro-typical (non-ADHD) folks will engage in this, too. The defining characteristic of Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria is that it hits much harder than it should. The feelings of shame, guilt, anger, etc. are outsized in comparison to what was said or how it was said.

Sometimes this can even go as far as completely misinterpreting benign comments as criticism or reading too much into casual interactions with other people. In the extreme it can almost seem like paranoia.

Kids with ADHD

As an adult with ADHD you may lean towards defensiveness or combativeness when criticized or confronted, but a kid with ADHD is much more likely to experience the outsized feelings of shame, lack of worth, and then try to deflect in other ways such as:

  • Laughing inappropriately
  • Trying to turn the situation into a joke
  • Ignoring what’s being said and changing the subject
  • Call themselves “stupid” or similar
  • Run away

A Better Approach to Discipline

Obviously, children need boundaries and sometimes that means discipline when boundaries are crossed. The long-term effects of yelling seems to be Oppositional Defiant Disorder (O.D.D.) and, perhaps more tragically, a dampening down of the positive side (dare I say “gifts?”) of ADHD.

Richard Branson – a famous ADHDer – talks about the supportive nature and positivity of his parents when growing up. In his book “The Virgin Way” he talks of being a rowdy child with a habit of “borrowing” loose change to buy chocolate among other things, and while I’m sure he wasn’t always so lucky, life lessons seemed to be more “lead by example” than punishment. Even to the point of him and his dad orchestrating a fake spanking, so mum could feel justice was done. Everything seems to be dealt in as compassionate and kind a manner as possible and his rebellious and enterprising spirit – even though troubling at times – was nurtured.

Not every kid is going to become a multi-millionaire. And not every parent has the same restraint when dealing with a child that keeps crossing the line – I, for one, can improve in this area. However, we love our children, we want to be kind to them, and it turns out this is a better approach anyway.

The trick to avoiding crushing their spirit or pushing them towards defiance seems to be remaining positive, or at least neutral.

Things to Try

To achieve this I’ve found several things to be helpful:

  • Distraction instead of discipline
  • Fix the environment
  • Calm, consistent, explanation and instruction
  • The countdown
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Immediate consequences
  • Affectionate follow-up
  • “Time In”

A solid 90% of the time, when my son is acting out, doing things he shouldn’t, and generally tearing the house apart it’s because he’s bored and restless. Often the need to yell, criticize, or discipline can be avoided entirely by simply saying, “Hey, want to play with the Lego?” or “Can you do me a favor? Grandma’s birthday is coming up and I need someone to make an awesome birthday card.” Finding them something else to do that keeps them engaged and stimulated is often way easier than battling whatever destructive thing they were doing. It works well because it’s tackling the problem at its source.

Sometimes it’s clear that they aren’t in any frame of mind to sit down and do something as quiet as crafts. In fact, you’re not even sure they can see you. They’re awake, they’re looking right at you, but by the manic behaviors you can tell they’re not really present. Sometimes this is simply a product of being in an environment that’s too stimulating. Is there loud music? TV? Is there a movie playing with a bunch of fight scenes and explosions? That could be the reason the ADHD kid is going nuts. At the very least it’s not helping them focus on you when you tell them to stop. Before going any further pause the music or the TV, put the barking dog outside, pick up any clutter that’s creating a chaotic atmosphere. Everybody breathe, then continue.

When you do need them to follow your instructions, give the instructions in as calm a manner as possible. I know, easy to write, harder to do. Just give it a try. Matter-of-fact-ly, “I need you to stop climbing, please.” Explain the reasons and consequences, “I don’t want you to break it because it’s important to me. If you don’t get down, you will need to spend some time in the corner to calm down.” You’re laying things out, making yourself clear and understood, but you’re not raising your voice. You’re not inducing shame or using blame. Simply what needs to happen, why, and what will happen if they don’t comply.

Usually laying it out will not be enough. They’ll hear you (although you won’t be able to tell) and continue anyway. You need to add immediacy to the situation. They know there will be consequences but WHEN? Start a countdown, “3… 2… 1…” that kid that didn’t seem to have heard you before will usually comply very quickly. And when they do…

…positive reinforcement. Say thank you. Be friendly. If it’s something bigger like having done a chore on their own, reward the behavior with something. ADHD kids react very well to positivity and encouragement equally as much as negativity harms them. Parenting them is more successful when there’s a lot of carrot and much less stick. Sometimes it can be difficult to be enthusiastic about a child doing something that should be baseline good behavior. But if you want it to happen again you must reward it. You need to get enthusiastic about it.

When there’s no way around it, it’s time to enforce the rules, then it needs to been done with immediate consequences. If it’s time for a timeout, they need to go in the corner right away. Delayed punishments will do nothing at all. If you’re at the grocery store and play the “just wait until we get home…” line, your punishment will not be effective. This is in part due to the way ADHDers perceive time. If it’s not happening right now then it’s not something I need to worry about now. You need to explicitly link cause and effect.

Once that cause and effect link has been made, and punishment is over, you absolutely must drop it. Don’t stay angry, don’t continue to punish. Justice was dealt. If they need to apologize, talk over what happened and have them apologize. At that point it’s all about forgiveness. They got in trouble, you explained why, now you need to let them know that THEY are not BAD. It’s not about them as a person but about their actions. Thank them for apologizing. Suggest alternative ways to behave. If they’ve handled the same situation better in the past, remind them of that. Praise them for doing it that way before and suggest that they do it that way again next time. Hug them, be friendly with them, and move on. We’re walking a tightrope between showing them where the lines are and not allowing them to cross them, while also not wanting them to internalize that they’re bad (or stupid, or lesser) people because they did it. It’s questionable how much control they even had over what they were doing in the first place.

Finally, while we use timeouts in our house, in some situations it’s clear they’re not purposefully doing anything wrong. They’re out of control but not it’s not really their fault. In those situations, even though they can’t be allowed to continue acting out, you feel bad punishing them at all. In those situations I like to use something called a “time in.” Instead of having a time out in the corner on their own, I fix the environment to reduce the stimulation, I pick up my son and keep him on my lap. I hold him. I’m kind, gentle, often it’s more of a hug than anything. I’m quiet and only explain that he can’t get down because of his behavior, and that we need to sit together for a few minutes until he’s calm. We don’t watch TV, we don’t play with toys, or even interact all that much. I don’t play with my phone. We just sit together for a couple of minutes and we both take the opportunity to calm down. This can often have the desired effect without the kid feeling attacked. He’s being actively loved instead.

 

If you have anything that you’ve found to be helpful when disciplining ADHD children, I’d love to hear from you. Likewise, if you have any questions or comments about Rejection Sensitivity in kids or adults.

 

I will link to future articles in this series as they are posted.