Lately my handsome, gifted, sweet, ADHD teenager has been driving me CRAZY. I know this in not an unusual state for parents and teens, but somehow I’d hoped to miss more of it this time around (my oldest is in College now). On some days, I really do feel like I have screwed up somehow in my parenting, on others I remember how I was.
Here’s a (VERY) typical morning:
Me (rubbing his back, turning on the light): Time to get up.
Connor (curled in a ball, only feet showing from the side of the covers):
Me: Connor, you really need to get up. Do you hear me?
Connor (slightly heavier breathing – willing me to go away):
Me: Do you hear me? – you need to respond.
Connor: uh uh. (tiniest head nod)
Me: Please move or use some words. It’s time to get up now. Come on down and eat something.
Me (10 minutes later, more insistently, shaking his shoulder): Its getting late, if you want breakfast, you need to get up.
Connor (now face down into the pillow, without moving one muscle, and croakily sounding like he’s trying to sound sick): I….need….to….sleep.
Me (irritated now, pulling off the covers): You should have done that already. Come on. Get up.
Connor (accompanied by an arm throw or kick in my direction): uuhhh! Leave me alone. I’m not going to school.
Me (much louder): Yes you are! GET UP!
And so on for about 40 minutes, until he gets up and stomps downstairs saying “I’m hungry!! I need to eat NOW!” or my husband comes in and pulls him out of bed, saying something like “Stop wasting your mother’s time, get out of bed and grow up!” The morning continues in the same vein until Connor runs out the door after my husband to get in the car with his shoes in his hand, forgetting his phone.
When we tell him he is getting restriction from video games, we get “NO! You can’t do that. It’s my game, I bought it. It’s a free country!” accompanied by punching a wall, stomping down the stairs, and slamming a door or two on the way to find the dogs to hold onto and hug too hard.
Dogs (through their eyes to me): “Please, please get this angry thing off me!!”
In the midst of all of this, I happened to e-mail all of Connor’s teachers because we are going on vacation during a school week and need to get the work to bring along. And just look at what I got back in the note from his Math teacher (cue the angelic voices and streaming rays of light):
“By the way, I’d like to let you know what a pleasure it is to have Connor in my class. He is hard working, respectful, kind, and an all around great young man!”
Me (crying now): Wow. Look who he is in the world! I guess I’m not a total failure as a parent after all.
Glad to be a parent (most days), and glad to be with you on the Blog,