Remember how fun tug-of-war used to be? Getting down in the dirt, pulling with all your might – it’s the perfect team exercise. Not only do you pull with your teammates, but you also get to feel the power of the other team. It was a favorite camp game for many.
Tug-of-War is Different For Adults
Instead of a fun team-building exercise, it’s the feeling of being torn. As the parent of complex kids, you may constantly feel like you're being pulled in different directions, particularly pulled between work and kids with ADHD.
Guest expert Abigail Wurf knows all too well what parents go through when they try to balance work and family life. Between copious deadlines and kids who forgot their lunchboxes, it can be really hard to stay on top of everything. These kinds of conflicts are unavoidable, and compounded for parents of complex kids. But there are ways to prepare yourself for this unwanted (though inevitable) game of tug-of-war.
Wurf recommends a tactic she calls building a “credibility bank.” She says: "You really want to get ahead on the credibility of doing extra things, so that when you do have an emergency, you have a little bandwidth." By getting "extra points" at work, you give yourself a some wiggle room for your family's next "life crisis."
Sound like you're already stretched too thin? Have No Fear!
The best way to add to your credibility bank is to focus on doing more in your “areas of strength.” In other words, find easy ways to go above and beyond, without compromising your other assignments.
After listening to this interview, you may not think of tug-of-war the same way. But Wurf's suggestions can remind you of how fun the game can be. It's all about give and take. Where can you give, so you can take when you need it.
All parents struggle with being pulled between work and kids, especially parents of kids with ADHD. By focusing on your strengths and depositing credibility, you can put the strategy back into a healthy game of tug-of-war.
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