Sunday, October 7, 2012

General Conference with the ADHD and Otherwise Distracted

There's nothing I'd like more than to have my kids play Prophet Bingo for 8 hours on General Conference weekend but alas, that will never happen. We can hardly get Cameron to stop doing cartwheels in front of the TV and for the older kids to come downstairs. Many years I have been frustrated by the lack of desire and/or ability to listen to the inspired words of our leaders but I have adjusted my expectations and this has been one of our better experiences. Bryce has helped me become more realistic since he too has a hard time paying attention (as evidenced by his near-constant fiddling with his phone, even during the prayers). I have some degree of book-learning on ADHD but it is invaluable to have someone help me put it in to practice.

So here's what we ask of the kids.

1. Be quiet for the Saturday sessions. I bought several craft kits from Target on clearance for the kids and gave them one per session which occupied them quite well. Bryce did not require attendance for the Saturday sessions and both older kids slept through the morning one (the best one, too bad for them). But when they came down for the afternoon we asked them to be respectful and quiet even if they were busy doing other things.

Harrison coloring his 3-D dog.

Cam doing his art project.

Cute pup and cuter boy!

2. For Tyce, go to the Priesthood session with his dad. Unfortunately this Saturday was Homecoming and Tyce went to the dance (and Bryce drove the van full of kids). However, the men did not take pictures and so I have no proof that this ever happened. They would usually go to the Priesthood session of General Conference.

3. Join us for our special breakfast. This year I made "homemade" doughnuts which were actually fried biscuits but really tasted like pastries. I think I might make that our new General Conference breakfast tradition.

Refrigerated biscuits before their transformation to doughnuts. Paula Deen made these on an episode of "Paula's Home Cooking".

Fry in 2 inches of medium-hot oil for a few minutes on each side.

Glaze them!

Or powdered-sugar them. The glazed are prettier but truthfully I liked these more.

4. Come to the Sunday sessions. I gave art kits to the boys and a puzzle for Mary but when President Monson spoke, they had to stop, sit up, and listen. This worked out quite well for both Sunday morning and afternoon (but better in the morning, ha).

There's Cam!

Listening to the words of the Prophet. Oh, I also bribed them with M&Ms.

I read recently that ADHD people need to fidget to concentrate, and literally need objects called "fidgets" to play with while they are sitting still. I've been trying to be sensitive to the constant need for motion and, what looks like to me, distraction. That's why you see in the photo above so many states of attentiveness: Tyce playing a game on the iPod, Mary cutting cheese with a knife, Bryce checking email on the computer, Harrison rocking in the recliner, and Cam army-crawling for misplaced candy.

That's life in our house, anyway. In adjusting my expectations I have been happier with our General Conference experience; in fact, I enjoyed this weekend quite a lot. And if you ask the kids I think they'd say the same thing.

How cute are these little sandwiches we had for lunch?
Broccoli soup--we needed something healthy to counteract those doughnuts!
As far as the messages go: Did you hear those awesome talks? How about the lowering of the ages for missionary service to 18 for young men and 19 for young women!? That was a jaw-dropping announcement, for sure. There were several talks that really touched me but some of my favorites were Quentin L. Cook (Can ye feel so now?), Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Living without regrets) and Jeffrey R. Holland ("Feed my sheep" and the apostolic call). I can't wait to reread the addresses in the Ensign coming up.

For Family Home Evening tomorrow maybe we'll have a little recap and discuss what stood out to us. Any gathering that ends with ice cream is a good one.

It was a great, relaxing weekend of spiritual uplift and I'm glad I got to spend it with my awesome family.

1 comment:

SweetmamaK said...

I'm glad you can cater your needs and expectations to your family's reality. I feel the same way, can't General Conference be a magical time, Can't I be with my family in a tent listening to King Benjamin> LOL- but I'm sure even then there were kids playing tag and making friendship bracelets. This year, the games and journals helped the little ones, my oldest is usually a good sport, come what may and Q was "resting" in his chair, at least he wasn't picking on anyone, so I called it a success LOL