Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mariah - Banned from School Chat...FOREVER

When the kids were really small, especially these older kids, and we were getting our feet wet with discipline we decided to use the standing in the corner or putting your nose on the wall as a form of punishment.  It has worked really well for us over the years - so well that with these younger kids I only have to mention "the wall" and compliance is nearly immediate.  I think it is because standing on the wall is excruciatingly boring.

It had it rough moments and questionable beginnings though - Mariah gave it a real run for her money when she was about 3 years old.  Whenever she was put in the corner she would cry and yell at me, "You are following SATAN'S plan!  Heavenly Father is NOT happy with YOU!" 

Even at 3 she had a quick wit and a sharp tongue.

It was okay, you know, I realized and understood that this was a sign that I was doing something right as a parent - because I firmly believe that if your kids always like you then you are not actually parenting them.  However, being called Satan's minion got old after awhile. 

So, I sat Mariah down and explained my roll as a parent and the importance of teaching her right from wrong.  I told her that, in all actuality, I was following Heavenly Father's plan when I set standards and enforced consequences, both good and bad, for the choices she made.

This started a strange new era in our house.  The girls would be off playing when all of a sudden Mariah would walk through the room with a bit of an exasperated tone and put herself quietly in the corner with out saying a word.

I imagine that is kind of what happened the other day in school when Mariah had it out with her online English teacher; then got up fuming from her desk, walked straight into the princip's office, and plopped down to confess.

As you recall, I said that teachers either love Mariah or they hate her.  It is not just her witty approach to written assignments that rubs her teachers one way or another.  She challenges her teachers' knowledge - she wants to know that they are well versed in their field before she will give respect.  She is prone to ask LOTS of questions, some related to the course - some not.  She can get - well - annoying.

Her English teacher has driven her crazy all semester.  She has never hit a place of respect with her because this particular teacher has never answered any of Mariah's questions, on topic or not.  She simply replies, "reread the course material." to everything.  This has been a source of frustration that everyone, including the principal, has heard about for months as Mariah was trying to complete one unit in particular that was not clear in the course material.

It all blew up the other day when she returned again to school chat to get help from the teacher and again was told to reread the course material. 

I think the teachers critical error was telling Mariah that she, the teacher, was helping Mariah learn by not answering her questions and sending her back to reread the course material for the eleven billionth time. 

After that was a flurry of insults.  I know that she told her that she obviously couldn't hack it teaching in a real classroom and that is why she was an "online" teacher.  I believe the words idiot and arrogant were used and some variations of names for mules. 

Somewhere in the flurry of insults that teacher announced that she was banning Mariah from school chat...FOREVER.

The principal laughed.

Then, of course, he reminded her that she was out of line and that she had acted inappropriately. 

Mariah told him that, really, it could have been much worse - she has really learned to control her temper over the years. The school secretary nodded wholeheartedly in agreement - she knows the secret - she knows why we pulled Mariah out of traditional school.

The principal made some calls, chat was reinstated, Mariah apologized.

Now you know why I hold my breath when Mariah tells me that she has been communicating with teachers, always waiting to see if we are on the love or the hate side of the relationship.

1 comment:

Lisa Aro said...

I have many friends and family that are teachers - great teachers - and I want to be sure to mention that this teacher that Mariah has been dealing with is certainly the exception NOT the rule in our experience.