This evening was one of those nights.
Trying to separate poor behaviour from ADHD. Trying to pacify a child with ADHD. Whilst not allowing poor behaviour to go without sanction.
And this is ADHD.
You can sit and watch it in his eyes.
He has no appreciation of what is acceptable. Give him fifteen minutes of timeout and he gets it like no other child. Out of all three he is always the one who can turn nearly any situation around.
So, how do you explain a child with ADHD?
Well, there are some people who’ve let me know that out of my boys they’re most likely to consider the other as the one with ADHD.
I have a hot headed child. I have a child who gets bored easily. And worse, I have a child who is really emotional. Positively and, from time-to-time, negatively.
It’s not him.
He’s our child.
ADHD is different. ADHD is the glint in the eye that you’ll never have the chance to meet. Because you’re not allowed.
ADHD is the ability to take control of conversations. Because the conversation going on is not the one you want to be a part of. ADHD is the need for everything, because one thing is too much.
I am learning so fast. But I struggle to keep up.
But from time to time, when I take the time to look up, I can’t help but wonder.
Why do I expect an 8 year-old to be content in the same environment day-in, day-out? Yes, it works for so many. But so many adults choose a different path. Why do we try to put all children in the same place?
When I listen to how my children spend their day, I completely understand that children thrive. And I completely understand why they struggle.
I’m currently running scared of having to return to a 9 till 5 office environment after 15 years of no office and no 9 -5. Why do we expect children to conform?
I’ll be honest. I’m struggling with where to go next.
I wrote to my local MP about our inability to allow children to thrive. Not only in our inability to appreciate individuality but because education cuts will stop any additional support in mainstream schools. I was obviously surprised to get an ‘on message’ response about support and devolved Welsh Government budgets.
My point was this. I have no doubt that my son is more intelligent than I will ever hope to be. But our education practice, our education system, stops him in his tracks.
My son could be amazing for our society, for our economy. Our current systems will stop him. It will ensure he loses any motivation, and it will lose his confidence.
Parenting a child with ADHD. It’s a blessing. It’s no more or less than parenting any other child. Because you appreciate the nuances. You fight a lot harder. And in doing so, you count so much.
You count how easy it is to parent a child who breezes through our education system, and hope she will try a bit a harder when those exams matter.
You count how easy it is to parent a child who appears to make the friends which count. Because, for whatever reason, boys do make more loyal friends.
And you count how easy it is to parent a child who makes friends with everyone, without distinction. Whose parents will complement your child’s ability to befriend their child. Without any distinction of a diagnosis. Just that your child is caring and loyal. Key traits of a child with ADHD.
It’s not just about disruption and meltdowns.