Since living with ADD has saddled me with a track record of not following through with commitments, I need to plan the logistics carefully
I’m a grant writer working from home, and my husband is an attorney, which means people think we’re well-off, but we’re actually not. He works very long hours and is serious about his learning, so he isn’t home a lot. Our out-of-town community has a high cost of living, and we have no cleaning help. Add my small home-based retail business to the mix, and life is pretty busy. And that’s before the kids enter the picture.
There are four of them, and the oldest two are on the cusp of their teens. The oldest has an ADD diagnosis, like me, and by 9 p.m. his meds have worn off and his impulse control is low. In general, as they get older, everything is getting so much more complicated — they’re not little kids anymore whose biggest issues are toilet-training and boo-boos.
More than anything, I want to bring healthy, loving structure into my home so my kids can develop their fabulous potential.
What my family really needs right now is some tailored chinuch guidance. I’ve tried it before; in the summer, I signed up for Rabbi Brezak’s parenting teleconference, but I’m embarrassed to say that despite the recordings being available after each session, I didn’t manage to listen to a single one.
This time, though, I’m determined to stay the course. I’m going to find a chinuch class and make an iron-clad commitment to learn the tools I need to parent with the right blend of love, consistency, and structure.
My next dare: Davening Minchah every day. I’m not such a tzadeikes, but this time of year really offers no excuses. Shkiah’s late enough to fit it in after the supper-bath-bedtime rush is over.
I try to analyze what happened the previous time I signed up for the classes, and figure that since I live in the US, I wasn’t listening to Rabbi Brezak live, and when you can just catch up whenever, it’s much harder to find the motivation to pick a time and say, “Okay, now I’m going to make up that missed class.” So I look for a teacher who’s in the same time zone as me, at a time that I can realistically participate in real time.
I opt for a course given by Mrs. Rivka Levitansky, geared for parents of teens.
Since living with ADD has saddled me with a track record of not following through with commitments, I need to plan the logistics carefully. Fortunately, my husband is supportive and wants to see this happen, so he takes responsibility for making sure my oldest heads out to Maariv on time and helps himself to a snack afterward without interrupting me.
For my part, I clear my calendar and make sure I’ll be available every week at the scheduled time. I decide I’m going to lock my bedroom door, and I prep my day so that I won’t multitask while listening. Phone off, no washing dishes. At most, I’ll fold some laundry.
I dare say: As a parent, you need to look at the big picture, and think about what your child will look like when he’s 27, 35, 45. I remind myself: “He is a great kid and gonna do great things.”
I would never: give up sugar. I’d be fine without cake, cookies, and brownies, but not without my J&J coffee yogurt
(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 650)