PDAers don't make promises.Sep 05, 2023
We have a saying in our family: "PDAers don't make promises".
It's a letting off the hook for all of us, because I can't tell you the amount of times adults try to bargain, not realising the demand that is wrapped up inside of the really exciting thing they get if they comply.
"They PROMISED ME they'd clean their room if we got them a new bike!"
I've heard all the variations, seen the confusion and observed how, even in our best trying, we often still believe we can sway our PDAers.
Not being able to *do the thing* is not a choice. If it was, it wouldn't be 'diagnosable' or a disability.
It is a neurobiological response to people, places and things that carry demands that cannot be perceived by the untrained eye.
Additionally, there will be times where our children have great intentions and ask for things such as "Can you wake me up at 8am so I can get ready? I think that will work".
And they do. We do (think it will work). As we get older, we cross our fingers more, without the insight that we are not failing or broken, or inherently flawed.
We feel the same frustration and defeat that comes with not being able to *do the thing* as well.
Many of us WANT to be at school.
Many of us WANT to complete the assignment.
We want the same things that others want for us, and yet we cannot carry out our promises, or be cured with a wakeup call.
And often, as children, we don't know this.
PDA children are not actively and consciously lying in the moments they make those promises or ask for these accommodations. They're missing out on saying "Okay, work with me here, be patient and don't shame me if it doesn't work out" whilst instead, thinking they CAN, because in the moment, when the demand is not yet present, it FEELS like we can (do the thing).
Even with planning. Even with warnings. Even with basic needs met. Even with accommodations. Even with relational safety.
We may not be able to *do the thing*.
We're trying though. So hard. Until we can't anymore due to shaming, blaming, the perception that we're frustrating and disappointing others.
Burnout comes from the inside too and there's nothing quite like the hopelessness that comes from not being active participants in our own lives.
Please be patient. With your children, and with yourselves.
- KF x
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