One of the hardest parts of parenting a complex ADHDer is hitting unexpected roadblocks. Just when you finally get into a groove managing meds and moods and feel like maybe things are running smoothly – BAM! It feels like you just hit a road block while going 60 mph. Sometimes you can catch a glimmer of it coming at you, but other times it will catch you completely off guard.
While I know that roadblocks can pop up unexpectedly, I’m rarely prepared for them. It seems like our smooth patches lull me into thinking maybe we’ve turned a corner. So when we derail without much warning it really can take me some time to backtrack and make sense of what happened. Only then am I able to piece things together and attempt to pinpoint what sent us flying off course.
I’ve found keeping copious notes on med changes, doses and reactions to be a good resource to me. It helps me to look back and see patterns that otherwise I would never remember on my own. I also notice that when things are going smoothly I tend to pull back on asking how my ADHD+er is doing. I ask less questions and get less feedback, so I don’t see problems forming. Keeping close tabs on how things are going can be an invaluable tool to staying on course. Lastly, we all know that when the train goes off the tracks the best thing to do is stay calm – just like when a toddler throws a tantrum. Joining in the bedlam only fuels the fire.
These are probably not new revelations to you if you’re parenting a complex ADHDer. But in the heat of things you may, like me, throw all you know out the window. This just happened to me last week when my ADHD+er hit a MAJOR roadblock. To top it off I forgot every reminder you just read above – I literally threw all I knew out the window. Blame it on exhaustion or my own anxiety but it’s like I hit the gas instead of swerving to avoid a brick wall. What a wreck – all of us were left emotionally and physically drained. We still are! I’m still scratching my head wondering why I missed the signs.
So here we are, regrouping: Remembering that all the rules of parenting still apply when things are going smoothly. Reminding myself that although it feels like the road ahead is not going to be smooth ride it doesn’t mean we won’t make it to our destination. Relying on the things that always get me through – like my faith – to give me the strength and focus I desperately need.
Any roadblocks for you yet this school year? How are you handling them? What do you find works best for you? We’d love to know how you navigate these pitfalls. We’re cheering you on!