Each human being comes into life hard wired with his/her own unique blueprint.
It is the intricacies of this design that determine the way we perceive and interact with the world.
When parents experience life through a blueprint that makes it easy for them to concentrate, sit still, stay focused, get ‘stuff’ done, and remember where things are, they cannot understand why their child is different. I don’t know about you but when I cannot find my keys or an important paper I feel lost and overwhelmed. Can you imagine what it must feel like to have that hanging over you constantly?
When something comes easy to us and is hard for someone else we naturally think that if they tried harder they could do it. Not so. I am near sighted and have astigmatism. If someone with 20/20 vision told me to try harder I would squint and squint and still struggle with seeing clearly.
Kids who have fast track wiring literally cannot control the whirlwind in their minds. They are overwhelmed with tasks that involve focus and organization. They are easily distracted by inner thoughts and outside stimuli. They are NOT BAD or NAUGHTY but they must be awfully frustrated!
More than anything, they need to be understood and to live in an environment that supports their success. It is never helpful to give these children the message that something is wrong with them. Many of them grow up receiving the messages that they are annoying, dumb or incompetent. On the contrary, they can be creative, intelligent and out of the box thinkers ~ the very beings this world needs for the changes our society is craving.
It’s just not easy being the parents of these children! Breathe that in. You, too, need to be understood. If you are ready to stop feeling disempowered and wishing things were different and instead, can hold a vision of your child moving into his greatest potential, you’ll find the strength to move through each challenge with unconditional love.
In all of my years working with parents (and being one myself) I have noticed that we just want our kids to change and when a suggestion is made that we change ourselves we have tons of excuses why we cannot.
I’ll offer a few suggestions anyway. Perhaps some of these will feel do able and you’ll give them a try. It is about creating HABITS that HELP:
1. Organization: How organized is your household? Are you willing to use milk crates, boxes and storage helpers for keeping school supplies, toys, and sports equipment in a designated place… Have you taken the time to make labels and use photos for reminders as to where to hang the key, store the backpack, etc. (Remember that your child needs daily support to keep things organized. Once he is famous and successful he’ll hire a personal assistant to keep him on track!)
2. Routines: When I was a teacher it was my use of classroom routines that saved my sanity. It is so worth the time and energy it takes to put routines in place. Do you and your child know the order of the flow for getting ready to get out of the house in the morning? If not, sit down together and talk about what works best. Do the same with your evening routines. STAYING CONSISTENT is the key.
3. Reduce the noise, the chaos and the constant intrusion of television and computer use in your home: We are all bombarded by outside stimuli. Ask your child what he/she needs to help stay focused. When your school ager is trying to get homework done, be mindful of the on going conversations or programs that might be distracting.
4. Feelings: Talk about feelings- yours and your child’s ~ It is so helpful for your child to know that experiencing life through her ‘lens’ can be different in a good way…encourage her to talk about fears and frustrations. Create a safe place where she can come to you with her truths. If you ‘fall apart’ she will protect you by keeping her pain to herself.
5. Spend special time together: It is so important for both of you to giggle, connect and enjoy each other. Life IS good, even in families that experience challenges
6. Notice your child’s accomplishments; no matter how small. It is a rare individual who grows into a healthy sense of self by being criticized.
7. Quieting Our Minds: Life is busy and hectic. Our inner dialogues are filled with thoughts that race through our head at warp speed. Sometimes the stories that fill our minds are propelled by worry, fear and frustration. When I take the time to sit quietly, to meditate, to connect with my inner spirit, I am soothed and rejuvenated and feel a renewed sense of well-being. If you have not given yourself permission to quiet your mind and unlock the wisdom of your true self you are missing a great gift. Stop making excuses and saying you have ‘no time.’ We all find the time for the computer or to watch t.v. Five minutes of stillness is like re-booting the computer. If you model this for your ADHD child and invite him to join you, you will discover that miracles are just waiting to unfold for you both.
I encourage you to listen to my radio show where I interview Dr. Ed Hallowell, world-renowned ADHD expert and author of the best selling book, “Delivered From Distraction”. We talk about the symptoms of ADD and ADHD and offer more suggestions on the newest research for helping people with these traits.
Download a free MP3 of Sandi’s interview with Dr. Hallowell here.