ADHD and Sibling Fighting: Who Really Has the Attention Deficit Problem?
The last few weeks, I have really focused in on my children when they get home from school. We do homework. We read. We practice piano. But it’s not always been like this. I’ve been so overwhelmed with just maintaining my house, keeping us fed, doing laundry, and paying the bill that I’ve often only given them very distracted and interrupted attention. Now that I’ve finally broken down and hired some help, (and no, I’m not rich, we ate rice and beans tonight), I stand at attention as soon as they come crashing through the front door.
I slipped today. I tackled too much, and by the time I was done, everybody was grouchy and ready for dinner. After dinner, I started surfing on the computer. That is when I noticed how much my two sons were fighting. I tuned out for as long as I could.
But then the fighting came to a head. To be precise, Jacob and Sam were fighting over Indiana Jones’ lego head. I told them it was time to study spelling words, and I was surprised at how anxious both of them were to study. We wrote words on our dry erase board and divided them into syllables and recited. Incidentally, there was no more fighting.
Neil got a little antsy near the end, (that good ole ADHD shining through), and he bumped his head hard on the laser printer.
I wisely chastised him, “You shouldn’t get so jumpy all the time.” This put him into sulking mode. I told him to go to bed, and then I tried to order a darling vintage blouse on the computer. Neil was not budging. I firmly told him to go to bed again. No budging.
Finally, I stood up, took his hand, and walked him to his bed. I tucked him in. I tucked in the other boys and kissed them goodnight. I went back to Neil’s bed and lay down by him. I played Chopin’s Fantasy Impromptu on his back. I told him I was making lots of mistakes since I hadn’t played it for over sixteen years. He didn’t seem to mind.
I told him that I thought I was about to fall asleep and that that could be kind of a problem because if he had to get up in the night to go to the bathroom, he wouldn’t be able to climb over me.
“But I hardly ever have to get up anymore,” he said, “Not unless I drink 3000 gallons of water.” So we talked about nothing, and I started drifting, and I told him I was drifting, and he told me to get out of his bed. He meant it in a loving way. It was a good thing because I had to order that vintage blouse online before someone else did.