My therapy sessions are starting to feel more like a recap of the ABC World News Tonight rather than a place to resolve any real issues. Every session has me launching into a tirade about the horrific stunt my ADHD kid pulled this week, as my childless therapist sits quietly listening aghast. My stories alone, I’m certain, have made her grateful she chose the non-parenting route.
Last week’s stunt? My willful, boundary-less ADHD daughter managed to get herself kicked out of the after school program. And the way she did it would make even the Dalai Lama’s blood pressure soar: she stole my cell phone. Then, pretending to be me, texted the program director that “Savannah was leaving the program.” She even signed my name!
For months Savannah had been complaining that she didn’t like the after school program. I dismissed it because, hey, we all have to go places and do things we’re not 100% enthusiastic about. More so, it was free and having to take a 40% pay cut in salary in January I was grateful she had a seat in the lottery program. Right now, I can’t afford the $15-20 an hour for another babysitter to sit on my couch and text her boyfriend.
Savannah, however, hated it, which I attribute less to the program itself and more to her desire to sit on the couch watch TV. Her determination to get kicked out is an example of how with a strong-willed ADHD kid threats, punishments, rewards simply don’t work. I’ve tried them ALL many times. I could threaten no TV or computer until high school graduation and it’s like bullets being fired at Superman. It simply doesn’t penetrate that place in the mind where logic rules, so focused is she on the what she wants in the moment. Long-term consequences are never factored into actions.
And for that reason I’m exhausted. Beyond exhausted.