My daughter, being ADHD, from time to time has difficulty with her behavior. We have been taking her to a behavioral counselor and have set limits her for her that we follow to the letter. So last night at dinner when she started acting out we did our usual non-reactions and continued eating our meals. She knows she is supposed to eat while we are eating, and try to have the same meal we are having as well. IF she wants a replacement she is to get it herself (we are not short order cooks) and it can be salad or a peanut butter sandwich or something healthy with nutritional value to it.
From time to time we will need to calmly correct her behavior. The point is to not OVERreact giving her the extra attention and disruptions she is seeking. Sometimes we can even correct by redirecting her as you would a smaller child. She is very intelligent though so this one is very hard to pull off.
At one point during the dinner hubby and I were having a calm conversation about how delicious everything had turned out when she suddenly screamed, “If you don’t cut my meat for me I am going to be horror-bra for the rest of the night.”
Granted her mouth was full and I am sure she had been trying to say horrible not horror-bra. For some reason though I thought this was hilarious. SO instead of reacting with anger or upset like she had probably expected us to (she was doing the classic button-pushing behavior here), I looked at her and repeated, “Horror-Bra? Is that like a WonderBra? What does a HorrorBra look like? Does it have tentacles like Cthulu? Oh wait, your nine it probably has big googly eyes and looks up at you and says Oh Diva, you are soooo cute.” Then I slapped my hands to the sides of my face and said, “THE HORROR.”
Both kids were startled into laughter. L. instantly forgot she had been mid-tantrum and began cutting her own food – redirect successful.
So fast-forward a little bit. I finish my dinner but she is taking her time eating hers. I carry my plate to the kitchen sink. When I get there I hear a terrible scream. I rinse my plate and hurry back into the dining room. I see to my dismay my daughter has a look of extreme shock on her face and my son is smirking. “What did you do,” I say to him. He just shakes his head still smirking.
“Diva, “ I say to her, “Tell me what happened.” I look around for their father who is no longer seated at the table and in fact nowhere to be found. Then the giggles start. BOTH kids begin giggling uncontrollably. L. points to the bathroom door and says “We heard (then mentions unspeakable horrors – and the way she phrased them CRACKED ME UP)”… and I realize my husband is now in the bathroom.
D. still giggling says, “MOM, why did you blame me?”
I sit back down at the table and can’t help but giggle with them (yes sorry sometimes bathroom humor is still funny. You try not smiling when both your kids are laughing uncontrollably) and then try to take a drink of water. It takes a few minutes to be able to regain my composure enough to get it down. Then when my daughter takes her next bite of food I make a similar sound with my mouth against the back of my hand (yes I realize I am immature sometimes) and start the giggles all over again.
When everyone calmed down I did talk to the kids about there being some things we just shouldn’t talk about at the dinner table but MAN I am glad they are growing up with a great sense of humor. They are going to need it. Sometimes the world out there sucks and if they have laughter to escape into it will make things a heck of a lot easier on them.
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