Monday, October 13, 2008

Encouragement for Parents of ADHD'ers

I am currently reading Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child. It is fantastic, by far the best book I've read on the subject as of yet. I wanted to share a quote the authors included that is actually from still another book.

What I like most about this quote is that it reminds me that I define my child, not the culture, not well-meaning friends/family members/teachers/coaches/scout leaders/et al, not anyone else's ideas of how they think a child should act. That awesome and wonderful power is mine and mine alone...well mine and dh's! And I am committed to doing a better job of not letting those titles in the first group of words stick but those in the second and so many more. We hear those first adjectives so often that they tend to seep into our souls, maybe much more than we realize - at least speaking for me, more than I realize. But if I choose to define his behavior as energetic rather than hyperactive and sensitive rather than irritable, well just that mental shift can make a huge difference in how I relate to my child and come to think of it how others will relate to him too.

I hope this quote is an encouragement to you as well. If you don't have an ADHD kiddo, feel free to pass this link along to someone who does and maybe it will lift up a friend who has had a tough day with her unique child!

Instead of thinking of your child as...Think of him as...
a daydreamer...imaginative thinker with a wide focus
attention deficit disordered...unique

-Dr. Thomas Armstrong, The Myth of the ADD Child



mom24 said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement! Although my 5yo dd hasn't been "diagnosed" as such, she does display MANY of these behaviors and I will agree with you - a huge thing that God has taught me about her is that I respond better to her (with more grace especially) when I am thinking about her in the terms described on the right side of the list! She is EXACTLY how God made her and I know He knows what He's doing, huh? :-) We have found 2 right-brained books (on my left sidebar) that have really helped us 'reach' her better. It's amazing what God will give us when we ask Him for wisdom!

And as well-meaning as others try to be, it is true that these children are OURS, given into our provision by God - not to be defined by anyone else.


Makita said...

Great post! My little guy hasn't been diagnosed either, but like Andrea's daughter, he exhibits many of the behaviors. Thank you for the inspiration.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I popped over from Makita's blog this morning to read your entry. I love Thomas Armstrong's writings and one of his books is really the reason I felt confident to homeschool.

My daughter was in public school for a few years and one year her teacher labeled her "bossy" and then the next year the teacher called her "a leader". I learned right then how important it is to take a somewhat negative trait and find the positive.

I have one "energetic and independent" son and he has been homeschooled since the middle of his K year. We have been able to work with him and channel his energies and now as a teen, he is the biggest helper I have in the whole family. He is a joy but I know if he had been in public school all these years, he would have been a mess.

Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I just finished reading a very interesting book by Jane Healy, Endangered Minds. You might be interested in reading at least parts of it. Very interesting ideas.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Stacy said...

Thank you for this, Jennefer. My ds has undiagnosed ADHD which I've talked to his pediatrician about. (We don't need a test. We KNOW he has it!) I will definitely look into this book. The exerpts you gave were wonderful. Have a nice day!
Stacy :-)

argsmommy said...

Thank you for this post! My little guy has autism, but a lot of those adjectives apply to him as well. After years of seeing how people interact with my son, I think some people naturally view our special kids in a positive way, but others need gentle reminders like this. I know there are days I need to be reminded. : )


Amy Smith said...

Thanks for the great quote. My son, Jacob, has ADHD as well and I have enjoyed reading through your blog. Parenting Jacob has been a big challenge but he is also such a blessing to our family. I know God can use Jacob's high energy levels and other personality traits for good and I am always praying for parenting wisdom.
Amy S.