20 Oct Angry Mom’s Response to Daughter
Angry Mom’s Response to Daughter
I am an angry mother that I should have to talk my daughter down from a self-diagnosis of ADHD. And if it weren’t that condition, it would likely be something else. I understand that this is a very serious issue for some who are dealing with accurate medical diagnosis of mental conditions and subsequent treatment programs, but for many people, young and old, it is just a place to be stagnant; a place where things are ‘just so’ because quite frankly they are out of your control. Nothing you can do about it if you have a condition right? How can you change where you are right now if there is something ‘wrong’ with you? A medical diagnosis that lists all of the symptoms that you struggle with, and at the end of reading the list would put anyone in a depressed state. We have all lost focus, forgotten things, been easily distracted, underestimated the time is takes to complete tasks, procrastinated etc. I would like to meet the person who has not.
Last night while doing her homework my 16 year old daughter, who is a stellar student in her senior year at Windsor Preparatory and has already completed her first college course on a summer scholarship at Calvin College, sent me a text (I was just upstairs) and asked if I had ever considered that she had ADHD. This is our conversation as it was texted:
Daughter: Have you ever considered I had ADHD?
Mom: No, but I’ve considered that I have it. Do you think that you do?
Daughter: Yes. I’m reading symptoms for it and I have almost every one.
Mom: Tell me what they are
Daughter: Difficulty paying attention
Poor listening skills = difficulty remembering situations
Frequently forgetting appointments, commitments, and underestimating the time it takes to complete tasks
Easily flustered /stressed out
Feelings of inner restlessness
Trouble sitting still
Getting bored easily
Tendency to procrastinate
Doesn’t deal well with frustration
Sense of underachievement
Mom: Interesting, I see some, but not many.
I think that you pay attention well to what you want to. Proved by your grades.
Same with listening…if you want to.
Distracted by what you like to do.
I don’t know you to be forgetful.
Easily flustered and not dealing with stress well – yes.
Inner restlessness – I can’t speak to your feelings, but that is very common for people; especially people who are NOT underachievers.
You have zero problems sitting still.
And seem to always be bored….??
I don’t know you to talk excessively.
Procrastinate, probably too much.
Daughter: Like right now I am writing this essay with different questions and I’ve been skipping around when I get bored of a section.
Mom: Some stuff just isn’t interesting at a core level to us and therefore is more difficult to focus on and complete. Maybe you are just not engaged in this topic and need to change something about how you approach this particular task. Location? Outline? List?
Daughter: I do that. I will just not be interested in one thing so I’ll look at another. That falls under underestimating the time to complete tasks.
Mom: It also falls under handicapping yourself with negative thoughts. It’s okay, just go back to it… You are studying a variety of things, it would be ridiculous to think that everything would appeal to your senses.
Daughter: I forget to go back
Mom: And then what
Mom: You get a bad grade?
Mom: Missed assignments?
Daughter: I get good grades
Mom: I know
Mom: When is a medical team gonna create a bunch of lists of positive attributes and start giving them official medical terms?
You are motivated
You are humorous
You are loyal and a good friend
You are enlightened in thought
You are contemplative
You finish tasks that interest you
You take your work seriously
You are ambitious when thinking about your future and your capabilities
You are dedicated to understanding the truth about things
You are fair and balanced in your thinking on social affairs
You are kind
What should we call that?
Extremely Fair and Motivated Personality Non-Disorder?
I received a smiling emoji with sunglasses on. I think that I made my point. I went downstairs and sat with her. I wanted her to know that there are a million and one ‘diagnosis’ for things that are, in my unprofessional opinion, just the facts of life. Yes, if you are on your feet at work all day your legs will be tingling when you finally rest them at night, call it restless leg syndrome if you like, but don’t make a commercial and don’t sell me anything because of it. I just need to relax and rejuvenate for the next day. If it becomes too uncomfortable that will be my cue to change something in my life…perhaps my career path. I know this from experience. “Yes!” I said to her, everyone I have ever known has suffered with depression at some time or another at varying degrees, sadly it’s just like diarrhea (at least that got a chuckle). If it is debilitating and chronic, go to the Doctor, otherwise wait it out and try to avoid the triggers next time.
How many of us can critique ourselves all day on what is imperfect about ourselves? Now go write your personal resume and see how hard you have to think about all of your skills, special talents and accomplishments, awards etc. That will get your brain smoking. Why is it so hard? Because we have been over socialized to focus on what’s wrong and not what’s right. As early as your elementary school, the focus is on your weaknesses in order to get them stronger. Sure, that is important, but what if it was secondary to celebrating your strengths and trying to improve them to an expert level? That’s where your natural ability would seem to lie…that is where you may be most engaged and interested…
That’s why I sent her a list to prove her Non-Disorder. I have known her for 16 years; that is my expertise in this equation. I don’t need a degree, I don’t need some extra letters after my name, I know this person is strong, talented and determined. I know she can do anything that she believes in and I need her to believe in herself; in her strengths, not her weaknesses. One of her weaknesses has always been putting too much pressure on herself to be perfect, I do not need this to be her focus. Please, medical industry (and its BIG BUSINESS pharmaceutical partner), please stop giving us reasons to feel frustrated and inadequate, to get down and pity ourselves with all of these ailments and conditions, to actually distract us from all that we are good at. Stop with the constant barrage of prescriptions to treat our ‘humanness’. All I need is a motivational speaker, all day any day, to make me feel better. I don’t need a pill. Find your speaker, maybe in your church, on You Tube, a book, wherever he or she is you will know the ‘voice’ that resonates with you. You will actually feel the inspiration mentally and physically if you listen with an open mind and spirit. Remember this place and this feeling and go to it for rejuvenation on a regular basis.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar
Then I said to my oldest child, in whom I see so much promise, the most important thing that she can do is to know and acknowledge all of the things that she does well; everything that makes her amazing and uniquely herself. Be able to list them without having to wrack her brains. Recite them with humility and gratitude that this is who she is. Rely on this list as much as possible and whenever she feels at a loss, spend time with her strengths and let them help her with her weaknesses.
Michelle Collie (BITO Guest Blogger)