I just had to share this one. The idea is, he has to sit in time out until the hourglass is done. Yes, it looks cute. Yes, it would make you look like a clever parent. It even seems like a good idea at first but how many of you know a child who would wind up on the floor because they were trying to watch the sand fall?
I saw this picture on Pinterest (obsession of my past week) and my first thought was of all the childhood memories I have associated with playing jacks. My second thought was that my sister doesn’t have any of those. Cue the guilty third thoughts. What kind of a big sister am I that I’ve never passed on the game of jacks? So I’ve made a commitment, and now that it’s on the internet I can’t weasel out of it. When I get home, I will play this with my sister for a solid 15 minutes, or for as long as she’s still interested, whichever comes first. Hopefully, she and I will both get some nice, new memories out of it.
What childhood game or toy can you spend 15 minutes passing on to a young person in your life before they miss the moment?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: ADD, ADHD, childhood, childhood game, childhood memories, commitment, encouragement, energetic, family, game, games, hyper, ideas, jacks, katie, lynne, memories, new memories, obsession, on, pass, passing, pinterest, playtime, precious, presents, second thought, sibling, siblings, sister, sizzler, sizzlers, toy, toys
I just had to share this one. Sibling or child, anyone related to a sizzler has probably experienced this at one point or another. It’s pretty hard to retaliate against this one, however there is a proven defensive strategy. When you are about to be licked by a pest, instead of grabbing a pillow and trying to shield them away, calmly inform them that any saliva that winds up on you will be wiped off on their face. Works like a charm. Granted, you may have to actually be licked once or twice to prove that you’ll follow through but afterward you should notice a significant decrease in the frequency of spittle attacks.
This summer I’ve been studying halfway across the country from my family. This is the longest my sister and I have ever been away from each other. Since change is not her favorite thing in the world, let alone mine, we had to come up with some more creative ways of staying in touch than just phone calls and emails. Here are my top three picks so far:
Hopefully, my sister won’t read this post because then she would know that I have several packages, with fun summer gifts, lined up for her before I get home. I know some people think snail mail is so last decade but I’m still a fan of handwritten notes. Plus, a box is a whole other level of excitement than a letter.
2) Email… in character
Plain old emailing can get boring, especially for someone with an ADHD attention span like my sister. That’s why this summer we’ve been emailing back and forth as characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
1) Marathon via video chat
Video chatting is kind of a must for me whenever prolonged travel is involved. However, this summer I discovered the many apps hidden away in G-mail’s hangouts. Not only have we had countless hours of fun with the Google effects and Capture but the YouTube app lets us watch the same video at the same time without any,
“Okay what second of the video are you at?”
“I’m at 0:08.”
“Alright, just wait until I catch up.”
“Are you there?”
“Okay, on three.”
This has been my number one favorite way to keep in touch this summer. On 4th of July, that was how my sister and I spent our afternoon; watching episodes of an old cartoon we love… and it was awesome!
So obviously, I’m not suggesting that the next time you’re at Starbucks you should take advantage of their wi-fi to send an email as Bilbo Baggins but I hope one of these ideas will come in handy for you.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: ADD, ADHD, baggins, bilbo, brother, distance. apart, Gmail, google, hyper, ideas, katie, keep in touch, keeping in touch, lynne, marathon, sibling, siblings, sister, sizzler, sizzlers, starbucks, teenage mutant ninja turtles, tmnt, travel, trip, video chat
Even with all the craziness that surrounds the holiday season, one of my favorite things is still the Christmas day that I get to spend with my family, sizzles and all. Today was so nice, in fact, that I felt compelled to send out a message reminding everyone how truly precious the ADHD people in our lives are.
My younger sister has really taken to the gift giving process in the past few years. When Christmas rolls around she comes up with some very creative gift ideas and when it’s time to open presents she bounces around and giggles while she keeps herself from blurting out what’s inside the colorfully wrapped packages she’s prepared for one of us. She brings so much joy and energy to the process that even if I’ve only had five hours of sleep because I was woken up when she couldn’t wait any longer, even if I am slurping down my morning tea as quickly as is possible without inhaling it, and even if I KNOW I’m going to look like a zombie wearing pajamas in the Christmas video my father is filming, I can’t help but be drawn into the excitement. The excitement isn’t from the sheer fact that it’s Christmas though. It’s not from the tree, or the presents, or the sparkling decorations. The excitement is from the twelve year old snatching gifts from under a tree and almost tossing them around the room. “This one’s for you. You almost saw this when you walked into the dining room yesterday! This one’s for Mommy. It’s probably my favorite thing that I made this year.” The joyful utterances go on and on.
So just a reminder for the rest of this holiday season, try to keep yourself open to the sometimes (if not often) overwhelming ball of energy that is your ADHD brother/sister/parent/friend. This way, you can appreciate what they’re bringing to the experience. Not just intensity and volume but genuine excitement and joy, which are priceless and precious things.
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged… a very long time but I think I’m finally back! Here’s a quick update on where I’ve been/ what I’ve been doing. In the past 2+ years I’ve officially graduated from my homeschool education (yes, it was bittersweet). I’m now attending college where all of my experience interacting with sizzlers and other high energy individuals is a daily blessing. My sizzler sister and I are continuing to grow closer with every day that we drive each other crazy and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I’ve missed writing this blog and hearing from everyone who comments. I hope the rate at which my blog posts go up will become a little more consistent than they were last time. I’m still learning how to balance everything in my life: school, family, friends, work, and of course this lovely, little blog. So, hopefully, you’ll all be patient with me as I work on getting a new pattern down.
As always, I want to hear from you. Questions you want to ask or stories you want to share are always welcome. Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to more time spent (cue dramatic music) in the realm of sizzle.
When you hear the word “obsession” what comes to mind? For me it used to conjure up images of mad scientists building their robot armies to take over the world, but lately I’ve been gaining a new perspective on the word. In my siblings I often see a strong passion that verges on obsession. Either one of them can get caught up in an idea they heard about or a new toy they got. I used to think that was a problem because the new obsession would get in the way of school, chores, and sometimes common civility. However, I now believe that it isn’t the obsession that’s the problem, it’s the object of the obsession.
For example, in the case of my younger sister the computer has been a long time obsession and for a while it was a legitimate problem. We would be hard pressed to get a kind or even a normal response out of her when she was playing, and if anyone said, “It’s time to get off now” they might as well have entered the missile codes and launched WWIII. That particular object of obsession was not a healthy one. However, I’ve seen the same girl become obsessed about reading, writing, and sewing. Those obsessions brought about positive results. Her vocabulary was expanded, she wanted to tell us about what she was reading and writing, and she wanted to show us what she had made. Those obsessions brought her closer to us. So although our first reaction to the word “obsession” can be a negative one, if the right obsession is found the results can be very positive.
For these kids an obsession is an activity. Where another kid will be somewhat interested in writing, our brothers and sisters will practically glue themselves to a chair and write a 600 page novel in a week. But that can be to our advantage. Instead of trying to stop them from obsessing, if we can encourage them to find a new, healthy object of obsession we can join a part of their world. Yes, they live in an intense and obsessive world but it’s their world. If we’re able to connect with them it will open up new doors into a deeper friendship with them and that’s something worth encouraging.
I’ve said before that ADHD siblings have a tendency to get physical. It’s not that they want to hurt us. Very often they feel terrible if they’re told that they did, but. . . telling them is essential. If we can find the right words to get through to them it can make all the difference in the world for us. Recently, I had a breakthrough with my little sister. She’s always been an enthusiastic hugger, and as she’s been getting bigger her hugs have been becoming less like hugs and more like tackles. So, I tried to find a way to tell her that when she hit me like a freight train it hurt, and I wanted to do this without making her burst into tears or think that she was a horrible person. I tried saying, “that hurt” after the hug in a nice sweet tone but she couldn’t seem to figure out how to make it stop hurting. Saying the same thing in a stronger tone just scared her and she wouldn’t want to give me a hug at all for a while. Then, of course, I tried the very famous but highly ineffective way… saying, “OW!” on impact. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever find the key to unlocking the gentler side of this aggressive hugger. The gentler side. That was it! I had found the keyword. I began to tell her that she needed to be “gentle” with me, as well as the rest of the family, when she went to hug us. It clicked. The change for us has been very apparent and we can now hug her without fear. Sometimes just that single word, whatever it may be, can make the difference for ADHD siblings. There could be one word that makes it clear in their minds, more than any other word, what you’re asking them to do. It may take a while to find it, perhaps a very long while, but I encourage you to keep searching for the keyword.
In my last post I talked about how important I thought playtime is for siblings of ADHD kids, but then someone wrote to me and pointed out that most of my examples were about playing with a younger sibling. She asked how she could “channel” their playtime, and I will admit that’s a harder one for me to answer. Part of my difficulty is that I was younger and I don’t remember the things I did then as much as the things I do now. So, I called in some reinforcement.
I sat down with my brother and asked him if he was able to remember anything that I was forgetting. We came to the conclusion that when we were younger most of the things we played were imaginary games, similar to the ones I play with my younger sister now. I remember parachuting army men a lot (you know, by tying a grocery bag to one of those poor little plastic guys holding a radio and launching them out a window or off a balcony) but I’m not sure if that counts. Things like super soaker fights never ended well for me, and thus they take up a very short period of time in the history of my childhood. (See previous post about the “safety hazards” of play with a hyperactive sibling.) Now that we’re a little older, we do things like fast paced card games and ping pong! These things maintain a high intensity level (which is good for him) and avoid physical contact (which is good for me).
However, I sincerely hope that my past experiences are not indicative of everyone’s experiences. Does anyone know of any good games for kids to play with older ADHD siblings? Or how about just suggestions for keeping play safe for both kids involved?
A couple things have been invaluable to me over the years in dealing with my ADHD siblings. Boundaries, like I talked about last week, help me protect myself from their feelings when they’re out of control. However, if you never ever feel what they are feeling then you’ll never be able to connect and have a friendship with them. So number two on my list of invaluable things… playtime. Let me just admit right off the bat that yes, I am a sixteen year old who still plays with dolls and runs around the house pretending to be a ninja. Feel free to take a moment to get all the laughter out of your system… moving on. At first glance, playing with an ADHD sibling (and I mean really playing, like with dress-up cloaks and funny voices and everything) may seem more like a safety hazard than as a way to build an effective relationship, but if you’re good about setting boundaries it can wind up being a lot of fun for both of you.
Now, I don’t know what your sibling might like to play but here are some of the things I’ve done with my little sister. One of our favorite things to do is to take a cartoon or a book we like and make up another adventure for the characters to go on. We’ve had big, spectacular battles as warriors from another world and had parties as ladies of nobility. We have also played one of our favorite songs and made up motions to it. One of us will act out a scene from a movie and the other one has to figure out what movie it’s from and what scene. Have you noticed the theme yet? All of these games involve motion and creativity. Very often a board game or puzzle will not hold their attention for long, but if they’re thinking about whether they should stay in the kingdom and defend the castle or go and search for the scroll of secrets then they won’t just be playing a game anymore; they will be on an adventure. More importantly, they will be on an adventure with their brother or sister (cue bonding).
But don’t forget about yourself in all of this. Remember when I said that playing with them seems like a safety hazard? I’m not kidding! ADHD kids can get very physical and injuries can sometimes occur. What cannot occur ever, ever, ever is an injury that does not get verbalized. What I mean by that is that you have to tell them that they hurt you. You have to let them know that they crossed the line even if it’s just a little hurt because they don’t want to hurt you at all and if you don’t tell them they’ll never know. Then next time the hurt might be big enough that you don’t want to play with them anymore and that’s not good. They might cry and get embarrassed when you tell them, but that’s good because it means two things. One, they now know that they hurt you, and two, they care! If they are embarrassed then that means they didn’t want to make this mistake and they really do want to be friends with you (always a good thing). Also, don’t you be embarrassed to give them a warning. Something like, “I know that you want to play but I don’t want to get hurt. So if you try and be careful I will try to let you know when you’re starting to get a little crazy.” Anything that will let them know that you want this to succeed as much as they do is good.
Playing with an ADHD sibling isn’t like playing with someone who isn’t ADHD. It’s like another form of communication. You’re telling them that you love them by making them a knight or a fairy princess for an hour. Playing taps into a whole other side of them that you might never know is there otherwise, and if you haven’t really given playtime a chance yet, the results will amaze you. So, remember they don’t want to have bad relationships with you. They just want to play. As long as you are willing to come halfway (and maybe just a little further at the start) they will come running to meet you. Hope this helps and good luck!