Gah! Why do they DO that?
ADHD children are very sensitive and having an angry parent is overwhelming to the senses. They may yell at you or try to distract you by talking about your faults. They may hide in their rooms or they may do what you want but give you the silent treatment. ADHD children are rarely able to manage their emotions in the moment, as they’re actually happening. In confusion, frustration, and sadness that they’ve disappointed you, “I don’t know” becomes an easy way to slow things down, to stop the barrage of parental expectations.
Here’s what “I don’t know” really means:
- I can’t help you. I don’t seem to be able to make myself do what I want to do.
- Please don’t be mad.
- I can’t take more nagging.
- Do we have to keep having the same conversation? That won’t change me.
- You can keep asking but I don’t have a different answer.