ADHD Girl Wins Battle with Peas

girl and broccoliTo this very day, I'm convinced no food exists that's more disgusting than canned peas.

My adult son still gags at the mere mention of broccoli.

Here's what happened at my house for a little girl with ADHD named MaryJo who didn't like peas:

"Finish up your peas and bring your plate into the kitchen so I can wash your plate."

"I am," I hollered at my Mother.

"Don't yell," she replied. "And stop playing with your food."

"I'm not playing with my food. I'm making a neat picture with my peas."

We argued about me eating my peas for what seemed like an eternity.

"Cease and desist from all this dilly-dallying and EAT your peas."("Cease and desist" was one of my Mom's many variations on the word "stop.")

"MaryJo, I want to remind you of all the starving children in India who aren't lucky enough to have peas." (Please, oh please, if only she'd let me send my peas to the starving children in India.)

She reminded me that we don't sing or hum at the table. And we certainly don't tap at the table.

Now it wasn't just any old tapping, I was practicing the Morse Code.

Oh I had perseverance. And that goes a long way in combating ADHD.

Obviously my Mom had it too. If used more sensibly, it's your solution to helping your ADHD kids.

But back to my story.

My peas would soon be pre-historic relics. I HAD to come up with something.

"Mom, I have to go to the bathroom."

"OK, but hurry back to the table or your peas will get cold."

The coast was clear. She'd finished all the dishes but my fork and plate and had retired to the living room to read the latest issue of "Ladies Home Journal."

So I dashed down the stairs to the basement bathroom. Flushed the toilet and dashed back upstairs. Now in the kitchen, I opened the cupboard under the sink and found an empty olive jar in the trash.

Back at the table, I surreptitiously scooped the peas into the olive jar, screwed the lid on, stuck the jar in my pocket, and announced, "Mom, I've finished my peas."

ADHD kids often have creative solutions to dilemmas. They can be very bright and quite clever. I was one of those children.

I won't bore you with the details of sitting at the breakfast table in front of a bowl filled with a cold, lumpy glob that masqueraded as oatmeal. 

Now clearly my Mom was extreme. Some would even say "cruel." Although she certainly didn't mean to be cruel.

And I certainly don't recommend such excessive rules. However, ADHD kids—even though they may whine—thrive on order, consistency and boundaries.

And in many ways, my Mom's obsession with order, consistency, and boundaries, not to mention RULES, helped me control ADHD.

If you're committed to helping your ADHD child, I invite you to fill out an application to be considered for my VIP Program for Transforming ADHD. I just have four places available in the program right now so you'll want to act quickly. Get more details and the application now.

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About Dr. MaryJo Wagner

MaryJo Wagner, PhD, helps you help your kids transform ADHD behavior for success. Sign up at Coaching & Accountability to get your questions answered with a complimentary Transformation Session.

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