My daughter broke my heart this morning.
My son was complaining about something i did cutting into his morning ipad time. My daughter chimed in that he would have time again after school, she had no time in the morning. He responded that she could have time in the morning too. She said she was too lazy.
I realize this is a story that could have been told more simply, but I thought it was important to see that it was not my son who led her to say something mean about herself, she initiated it. And it is not something I think I have said to her either. She interpreted her own actions and judged herself harshly, just like me.
I immediately felt the need to defend her. She is not lazy, she does activities every day after school by her own choice. She does weekend rehearsals for her play. How can someone who does so much be lazy?
She is slow, but that is because of her ADHD. She has a hard time staying focused so it takes her longer to get things done. She thought that speed problem made her lazy. This is not ok.
I really thought that knowing and understanding the limitations of ADHD would help them avoid self criticism. They would be able to anticipate things that are challenging and compensate or just accept. That is not how this works.
I hope that what I said to her made a difference because I wish someone would have said that to me when I was her age. I have a constant nagging feeling that I am not good enough. I do tons and always feel like I did nothing. Any moment of stillness is a year of waste. If I am not doing well, I am doing nothing.
It did not help that I didnt know I had ADHD until I was an adult. By then, I had spent so many years being told that there was something wrong with me I really believed it was a choice. I was lazy, that is why I couldnt get my homework done quickly. I was spacey, that is why I couldnt pay attention in class. I was unremarkable, that is why I didnt qualify for advance courses in science and math. They followed me into my jobs, and into my business.
Now I guess I have to treat myself as one of my own children. All those things I want for them are good for me too. You are great, you just have to do things your own way, and that way is fine.