I have a child who was such a wiggly, difficult-to-control toddler.
At that time I did a lot of research about this, and I learned about ADHD symptoms and treatments. I don’t know if this child would have been diagnosed with ADHD, but I implemented many of the interventions I learned about. Structure, consequences. Very, very, clear consequences.
“If you can stay in your seat during Primary class and only get up two times, you can watch Dad play Minecraft after church.” And then I would ask the teacher after class, and if she said any number besides 0, 1 or 2, no Minecraft.
This child recently was taken to a child psychologist and was not diagnosed with anything- but the psychologist said that it may have been because of my structure and clear consequences. Can you hear me patting myself on my back? I’m sure you can hear it all the way from your house.
Anyway, one phrase I picked up was “race car brain, bicycle brakes.” Brains of people with ADHD run so fast and powerful, they are unstoppable when they are interested in something. But that thing is sometimes not what is socially acceptable or according to the plan of the powers that be. Also unfortunately, their race car was only equipped with bicycle brakes.
Can you imagine driving a car and then having to stop it using only the strength of your grip? How long could you hold on? How long do you think your brake pads would last? Do you think sometimes you might stop a little bit past the line?
I can imagine what it’s like. I had a dream last night where I was driving a car and my whole family and extended family was in the car. I had to drive up unreasonably tall bridges and down white-knuckle ramps. Everyone was mad at me for not keeping better control of the car. They were disgusted at me and ashamed. And I was terrified!
So when someone is unable to suppress an impulse, I just hope I remember that dream, and what it felt like to drive that car.