Ask First – Purr, Ya Varmint!

Children with AD/HD are often impulsive. Sometimes, this adds to their charm as they blurt out amusing observations and thoughts. Other times, it gets them in trouble as they…blurt out their observations and thoughts! One positive aspect of impulsivity is that I rarely have to wonder how my daughter feels or what she really thinks about things. Especially when she was in the preschool and elementary years, I rarely had to ask for her opinion because she made it readily apparent. Actually, I do want to know what my children think and how they are feeling but with Beckie I didn’t usually have enough time to ask before she was announcing her thoughts to all within earshot. Some of the “This could get you in trouble” (and hopefully also teachable) moments happened with regularity. Beckie was an avid reader and a very verbal child, and frequently she would use words she’d heard or read without knowing what they meant. Sometimes I could tell when she was trying out a word she’d read by the way she pronounced it such as when she used the phonetic pronunciation of the word “ballet”. Other times, she just picked up words from various sources and tried them out. When we got our kitten, Wesley, she was eager to hear him purr. Beckie held him in her arms, stroking his fur and crooning to him, “Purr, ya varmint!” This was immediately followed by, “What’s a varmint?” My refrain became, “Ask first, then try out the word if it’s appropriate for what you’re trying to say.” Then I would tell her what the word meant. Beckie has gotten better at suppressing her impulsive tendency to say whatever she is thinking, though it still happens sometimes. In a way, I miss hearing her developing her vocabulary by trying out new words on me.

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