Well I got me one of those comments again. Why do some parents think it’s ok to comment on your child in a negative light? Does it make them feel better about themselves as a parent to put down your child and therefore you? Then I think, well maybe I’m just taking it the wrong way. Maybe it was meant to help. Problem is that the other parents have no way of knowing that I’ve heard comments and been “helped” since the child was born.
True story – after an unplanned C-section (I have one of those childbirth stories that some women love to tell pregnant women and send them running in horror. I try to refrain.), I lay alone in the recovery room with my brand new baby (hubby had gone to eat – it had been a loooong time – still not sharing details though) when I heard the mother and grandmother in the next curtain comment, “She’s gonna have a hard time with that young’un.” They then continued to discuss what a good baby they had. Suddenly I had been thrust into the good kid/bad kid lottery and I obviously had lost.
When I wrote the essay, “ADHD and Me: It’s All About the Bon-Bons”, I barely touched on the comments I’ve received. I mentioned one school administrator, but there is more…much more. I’ve had teachers complain to me about behaviors which are such classic ADHD signs, I wonder if they bothered to read the emails where I discussed his umm, ADHD or listened when I spoke directly to them. Perhaps they were having ahem, focus issues. I know teachers and administrators are overburdened, but I’m trying to be one of those communicative parents they say they want without flying my Harrier to hover over (the helicopter does not have enough power, sorry). It would help if they listened to my communications, without feeling the need to fire a surface to air missile at my parenting. I had a teacher tell me how irritating she found his inability to be completely prepared and not be the last one walking out of the class every single time they went somewhere. She then proceeded to ask me if that drove me crazy and comment about how she wouldn’t be able to handle it at home, and thank goodness her little preciouses weren’t like my son. A little painful you think… how about the fact that she did this, IN FRONT OF SEVERAL OTHER MOTHERS, when I was at the school volunteering. Now we all know that only a truly lousy Mom gives up her day of eating bon-bons for sitting at some school taking care of a bunch of kids (and there was only one that I went through that horrific childbirth with.) Yeah, that felt great! Still love that one. For every great, understanding helpful teacher…there’s been, well, the you name ‘em type.
But the comments that always wound the deepest are the ones from the other parents. I’m just as involved as you are. I try to help my child and guide my child just as you do. But it doesn’t work the same way with a kid with ADHD. How about a little compassion, empathy, kindness or if that fails… just shut the he!! up. You think my kid is excessively shy because I’ve made him that way. Did it ever occur to you that the kid can hear? That maybe through all these years he’s heard your little comments so he just doesn’t try? To his credit he assures me that he really doesn’t care what you think. To my discredit, I do. So if you don’t know what you are talking about, please just go buy some bon-bons and eat them. But you won’t be getting any from me. And please, am I the only one who has the different kid and has to constantly hear about it? What are your experiences? Where can I get a volume discount on my bon-bons?