. Delayed Response Disorder
I suffer from DRD. Yes, I know that there are many different significant and challenging disorders out there which are serious and require medical attention, counseling, and much training to deal with and overcome.
But my disorder just comes with being alive. You see, when I focus, I am GONE. When someone, actually anyone, comes up to me and asks me a question or makes a comment or even submits a demand, it takes me a second to come back to the here and now, switch mental gears, and be able to answer.
This particular challenge is more apparent in parents with more than one small child, adults with several elementary school children who are home for the afternoon, and especially mentors with teenagers. It is even a challenge for a spouse with a significant other who works out of the home. If you are around, you are supposed to be HERE, ready and willing, to respond gently, kindly and without hesitation.
So what do we do when we suffer from Delayed Response Disorder? May I suggest three different ways that have helped me have a calmer, more peaceful home life?
1) Train your children to let you have a time alone time for 20-minute increments each. This training can begin as soon as your children are old enough to want their own “time alone” from the baby (so they can play without interruption). Begin by separating from your family for 5 minutes, then work to 10 minutes. Soon you will be able to have 15 minutes alone and finally 20 minutes. Sometimes you will be in the same room so as to be a comfort to your children, but they can learn to respect your need to be GONE. Set a timer and set some rules: no questions, no interruptions, no comments until the timer dings.
You see, all of us need some alone time. We need some silence. We need some space to think through our priorities, our relationships, and maybe just to let our minds rest or to read.
2) Take regular walks. When the children are pre-schoolers, let them come long in the stroller or on their bikes after your morning chores are done. Take a good long walk each day to the park or around the block or even just down to the stop sign and back. It is one of the best ways to get away from the phone, from the TV, from the radio, and from interruptions. Literally be gone, so you can be GONE mentally and emotionally, too.
3) If all of the above just doesn’t work for you, ask an older child or one of your teenagers to be responsible for the children while you go to your bedroom or the office and spend just a moment (meaning 20 minutes) alone working on a project. Shut the door, ignore the phone, and focus.
It is good for them to respect you. In turn, you can let them have their own time alones when you will not interrupt them for doing chores, setting the table, or putting away their laundry. Just have them tell you they are disappearing from the world for a minute, in other words, being GONE. When you give them that space, they will also be more willing to give you that space.
Having Delayed Response Disorder is not wrong or bad, it just a part of life. Gain some time each day to be GONE and you will it easier to here, available and ready to answer questions, settle disputes, and make comments the rest of the time. Good luck this week!
Find more helpful ideas in the House of Order Handbook.
Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission of doc.