Chris and I have been to three of the seven parenting classes for dealing with ADHD. While they are a relief in some ways, I am not terribly impressed. I have to say, I am getting why CHADD has been touted as having an agenda and pushing drug use. It made me pretty angry last class. They seem to slip it in while discussing how to modify behavior by implementing a token economy system (bribery). They said that kids on meds seem to do better with this than kids off meds. Well duh! I would think that would be a no brainer, but they had to say it and piss me off. (I had already had my 2 glasses of wine with dinner before we got there. Not the best idea.)
The basic behavior modifier is having rules set up so that kids know without a doubt what is and is not allowed, and then rewarding good behavior or taking stuff away for bad. It’s very structured and so not fun for a parent to have to do. Apparently our wonderful ADHD kids are just too thick to relate to natural consequences. I have started another book called ‘Transforming the Difficult Child” that says you don’t have to write it all down, but you have to notice it. Probably more in my wheelhouse. I can barely keep up with all the stuff I already have to do every day.
We talked about some house rules with the kids yesterday:
No hitting hurting
Stay Calm – their idea!
Listen to others and show them you are listening
I could add to it, but I think it’s pretty comprehensive. I mean, no spitting isn’t on there, and neither is no squeezing out my favorite lotion, but I think it’s a good start! Now, I have to split it up into 30 min sections by which to judge. Fab-O. I really don’t think it’s gonna be fun and I wonder if we can keep it up.
Back to CHADD – It seems like everyone there is already medicating their kids. I find it irritating. If the meds are so great, what are still doing here? I know, it takes time and attention, but why go the med route first if you know you have to be a hardcore parent in the end anyway? Why take the chance? Why not take the chance all the hardcore parenting will help first.
The meds just seem like a spiral, you try one, it’s effectiveness wanes, and you go searching for another. That one is effective, but you can’t sleep so you start on a downer, then you get depressed about all the meds you are on and start an anti-depressant, after that, you start hallucinating so they give you an anti-psychotic. GREAT! That’s how the kids end up on 4 or more meds a day.
But that is something they skim over a bit in class.
Whatever people. They don’t have a place where people will not medicate, they only have a place to wring your hands before you medicate. Where are the alternatives?
So, the last irritating thing about CHADD.
I don’t know why but I almost always expect some ground breaking information that will change my life, but never get it. I know, it’s all about me. All of this bribery has been tried before but it’s too hard to keep up with. I know I have to try again, but I have already failed in some way. Maybe it’s so hard and that’s why people medicate. It really is that hard. I was hoping for something different. New information. I have disliked bribery parenting from the first time I heard about it. I thought it was strange to make something so material that really should be internal. But, it seems to be the best solution, so.
Now the good things about CHADD; they break down information on all the slides – sometimes to a nauseatingly simple degree – but I end up being able to brainstorm the information to suit my life. The people with older kids share experiences that are helpful. I like that we are all dealing with similar stuff, I hope I have good advice, too. Chris is there. He’s not a read a book about child rearing kind of person, so it’s nice that he gets to hear all this stuff, and it isn’t just me telling him. So, for those reasons, we will keep going.
So, I find my own alternatives. Next stop, EEG Neurofeedback. That is my current research topic. Know anything about it?