Parents: of the many things I’ve learned from living with ADHD, perhaps the most important is that situationally some forms of communication work better than others.
Emotions can get hot very quickly, and what seemed like a ordinary conversation becomes a blood bath. When I was a kid, I heard this all the time: “Grace, if your tone is too harsh or too loud, or if you are too angry, we can’t hear understand what you’re saying.”
When I got so mad during a conversation, my message got lost and my parents only focused on my exhibited emotion, not what I was trying to communicate. Nothing good comes from this.
Fights with my parents would leave everyone feeling in ruins with absolutely nothing accomplished. When I argued, I wouldn’t think logically. I would get nowhere. I would cry and scream in my room, but would eventually become calm.
Often, I noticed a note slip under my doorway from my Dad. It said, “Can we talk again?”
The smallest note changed the way I thought about talking – about communication in general. Yelling face-to-face wasn’t working. A small note, direct yet kept at a distance…worked. I started writing short notes to my parents, and that worked too!
I use this learning in my personal life on a daily basis. I recommend you do too.
Here is my advice: read the room. It’s important to take space and think what best method of communication fits the situation. Is it a note, call vs. text, email, or even a polite knock on the door. How you choose can make or break an important conversation – and can make or break your most important relationships. Equally important: figuring out the best time to talk.
Parents – if you or your kid appear frustrated or on edge, maybe talking about homework, deadlines, schedules and obligations isn’t the best idea. Naturally, you want to have the best interaction with your kid possible. So, think about how you communicate, and try different communications styles until you find those that will set you and your ADDYTeen up for success.