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Parent Interaction Exercise

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What follows is an exchange between two parents of a child with ADHD from an experiment designed to see how the adults interacted. In this setting, they were bowling with a disruptive child. The child got a spare (meaning he knocked down all 10 plastic pins in just two throws), and it's now the mother's turn to bowl. Both parents know this but want to get the child involved with calling turns:

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Mother: (says to father) Well, do I get to play?

Father: (says to mother) Well, I don't know.

(says to child) Do you want to take turns?

Child ignores them and is distracted by juggling a ball.

Mother: (says to child) Do I get to play?

Child ignores them and continues to be distracted by juggling a ball.

Father: (says to mother) Okay, he's got a spare. You go --

Mother: (interrupts father, says to child) Do I go first?

Father: (yells at mother) No (sigh), he just got a spare.

Mother: (says to father, sarcastically) Well, yeah --

Father: (interrupts mother) You're going second.

Mother: (says to child) Do I get to go?

Child ignores and continues to be distracted by juggling a ball.

Mother: (says to child) Do I have to curve it?

Father: (yells at mother) Just go!

Mother rolls the ball.

Father: (says to mother) Jeez!


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