Zebra Stripes for ADHD
A monthly newsletter of stories tips and news for those concerned with ADHD,
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, No. 24
Sarah Jane Keyser : ADHD Coach
Joey and Friends Coach Grandpa
Joey and his friends, Sammy, Koko, and Eeyore were grazing in the quiet
evening. Mama Giraffe munched on the top branches of her favorite
"Joey, Joey. You got to talk to your Grandpa," Chip came swinging
through the trees and settled on a branch above Joey' head; Chap was
just behind. "He's crazy. You know what? He's just been arguing with
Mr. Rumbo, (the neighborhood elephant) because Mr. Rumbo walked on his
favorite grazing spot. Mr. Rumbo would have stepped on him, if we
hadn't stopped them."
"Yeah, Joey," said Eeyore. "The other day, he got real mad at me; he
thought I was angry at him just because my ears are floppy. ( see
newsletter-no11.html for the story
about Eeyore's ears)
"I know, I know," said Joey with a big sigh. "He was about to kick Mama
Tamu because he thought she was messing with his water. But what can I
do? What can we do? Mama Giraffe, you always have good ideas; what do
you think we can do?"
Mama Giraffe chewed thoughtfully on her acacia leaves. "I remember your
Grandpa Milton when he was much younger, before he left to see the
world. He used to be lots of fun. He liked to play with the youngsters.
But he wasn't happy here. All the grown-ups criticized him for his
craziness. And I don't think he has had much success else where that's
why he has come back.
Joey, you talk to him. He trusts you. Ask him about things he enjoyed
doing. Ask him about times when he was playing games with the babies.
And then ask him this question, " Mama Giraffe whispered in Joey's ear.
Joey looked at her wide eyed, "You really think that will work?"
Joey found Grandpa grazing alone in a distant corner of the valley. "Hi
Grandpa, have you found some good grass?"
"Humph, what do you want?" said Grandpa.
"I just wanted to talk. I guess things have changed around here since
you were young."
"They certainly have and not for the better, " Grandpa said with a
"I'm really curious to know how things were before."
"Lots of bossy people, do this, don't do that."
"Well, what was the best, or if you prefer the least bad, about the
Grandpa thought for a bit, "The kids were all right. We had some fun. I
liked to play games with the youngsters. They learned a lot, you know."
"That sounds great! We don't play many games now. Tell me more. What
games did you play?"
"We played tag, hide-and-go-seek, kick the stick, and some other games.
But they said I wasn't serious enough. They said I was dangerous."
"How can we play those games without being too dangerous?"
"Don't know. It would take a miracle to change those minds."
"Lets suppose a miracle does happen one night. How would you know when
you woke up that things had changed? What would you do differently,
that you didn't do today?"
Grandpa was silent for a long time. Joey began to think that he hadn't
heard his question.
Finally Grandpa said, "Well....I guess I would say 'Good morning, Mama
Tamu, enjoy your bath.' or 'How nice to see you Mr. Rumbo. This is
very good grass; would you like to try some instead of walking on it?"
"Yes" said Joey, "and then what would happen?"
"Well, I guess they would look at me sort of surprised. And then we
would all start laughing."
Grandpa comes home from a life of hard knocks, resentful and angry. His
emotions color the way he sees and thinks about the world.
Through coaching, Joey leads Grandpa to a different emotional state, a
place in his mind where he enjoyed life through play. Through the magic
of imagination, Joey invites Grandpa to experience a new way of being
rooted in this new world. This isn't wishful thinking. It is not about
how you would like the world to be: it is about how you would be and
People with ADHD often live stuck in a negative place having forgotten
early positive experiences. ADHD coaching helps them find positive
resources with which they can build effective strategies for living
Try it for yourself. Imagine that in the middle of the night a miracle
resolved all your cares and worries. How would you know when you wake
up that this miracle has occurred? What would be the first sign? What
would you do differently?
A zebra joke to help you get into happy mode:
What is the difference between a lion with a toothache and a rainstorm?
One roars with pain and the other pours with rain.
You May Use This Article In Your Ezine Or Web Site
You are welcome to use material from Zebra Stripes in whole or in part, provided its use is non-commercial and not for profit and as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site links. Please send me an email at Sarah Jane Keyser so I know where you're using my material.
Here's the attribution you'll use:
"By Sarah Jane Keyser Adult ADD Coach. Sarah Jane Keyser helps adults and parents of children with ADD to live life fully. Please visit her site at http://www.CoachingKeytoADD.com for more articles and resources on living more easily with Adult ADHD."