“Have you ever thought about what it would be like to see ADHD through your child’s eyes? To be in their shoes and have some idea of what they go through every day?”
Imagine. Just for a minute…
You’ve set time aside to kick back, relax and watch your favorite TV program. This is the one show you look forward to each week. You sit down, snack in hand and prepare to enjoy the next hour.
Just as you get deep into a program, the cable glitches up. Not once, not twice but every 45 seconds or so. At first, a couple of times is okay, then it becomes persistent.
Aggravating, isn’t it?
You’re trying to stay focused on your show but the intermittent interruptions keep you distracted and irritated.
Or how about that amazing outdoor summer family get-together. It’s a wonderfully warm day, the sun’s shining, the grill’s going and everyone is having a great time. Then the sun begins to set. And…the mosquitoes come out.
You’re trying to carry on a conversation but you keep getting sidetracked by a pesky blood-sucker. The first few times you brush it away, no big deal. Then you find you can no longer hold your focus on the conversation because you’re completely caught up in the act of trying to put an end to this buzzing irritation.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
Now, imagine that occurring ALL. THE. TIME!
This is just a glimpse of what it’s like for your ADHD child. Unfortunately, they can’t change the channel or go inside to get away from these temporary diversions. For them, there is no escaping these day-in and day-out distractions.
What your ADHD child goes through is minute by minute internal challenges. Challenges that follow them wherever they go. Like the challenge to maintain focus, or curb impulsive actions, or to calm down, or to ____________(fill in the blank).
My point is, their mind can’t escape the deluge of incoming information. They are uniquely wired. They can’t simply turn off the overwhelming sensory distractions or the relentless impulsivity. All that information, compounded by expected behavior, becomes a daily frustrating and exhausting obstacle course. Leading to complete mental fatigue for an already overwhelmed child.
Knowing what your ADHD child goes through is important!
It’s so important to know how they feel and what they are aware of.
Even though an ADHD child may not fully understand all the aspects or medical jargon on what ADHD is, they know and are aware of more than you might think.
Take, for example, some of the things they do know…
- It is easy to upset and disappoint the adults around them.
- The way they behave is different from the way their friends behave.
- That making and keeping friends is hard. And sometimes they’re lonely.
- They know how they should act. But they can’t fully control their actions.
- Following the rules is tough. Getting angry and upset with them doesn’t help.
- Completing a task is their goal too, they just get easily distracted.
- Remembering can be REALLY difficult. Nagging doesn’t help.
- They try really hard all the time but don’t always feel like they’re successful.
- Being in trouble is not something they enjoy.
- Doing things the wrong way isn’t something they do on purpose.
Surprise! They want their behavior to change too!
When it comes right down to it, the single most important thing for an ADHD child is to be understood by the people that are closest to them. And, for those people to have some understanding of just what it takes to be them.
So the next time you become frustrated with your ADHD child…
Just remember the irritating mosquito or the glitchy cable program.
When you do, you’ll begin to relate (even in the smallest way) to what your child goes through every day. Eventually, you will see just how your child’s mind works, making it easier to understand the struggle.
You see, it’s important to your child that you see them—not their ADHD. Once you begin to see beyond their ADHD, you will get to know the amazing child within.
And…your child will truly appreciate the time you took to “put the shoe on the other foot.”
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