Thursday, February 11, 2016

Balance- Parenting ADHD

JT has ADHD. He's pretty chill about it. He's a pretty chill kid. He's more day dreamy than hyper active. He's forgetful as hell and completely uninterested in school. He's funny and sweet and wonderful too.  

All week he works hard in school, he tries to remember his homework, he makes lists, he goes along with routines...but after school and on the weekends when he gets on a court or a field or in the backyard, he comes to life.  It's like magic.

Oh my god, look at that smile. Ahhhhhh.
He's the kind of kid that doesn't fit into certain parts of this whole standardized testing world we live in. And it bugs him. And I get it. I get not fitting in. I get growing up with a brother and sister that are uber smart and have brains built for school and taking tests, and how that feels all kinds of intimidating. I get that being free and moving means everything. 

I get it all because JT gets all this ADHD crap from me.

So, last week when JT was having a rough couple days and it snowed (finally!), I picked him up early from school and we went skiing. 

I wanted to show him that there's more than school and grades and tests that matter. I'm not starting an unschooling movement, but balance is key for brains like ours. Balancing all the have-tos with the let's get out of here and see and do and run and be free moments, yeah those are definitely key to feeling better. Along with love and patience and compassion and moving, lots of moving. 

As school gets harder and social stuff gets more intense, I know things will get tougher for JT, and for me and for all of us. Parenting a kid with ADHD is no joke. I want to protect him and save him and make the world less standardized. But that's not how it works. So, I will teach him what I know about balance and embracing all the great parts of ADHD and being wired a little differently--the daydreams, the emotional intelligence, the fun, moving, being bold and unafraid of so much of life that scares other people, and so much more. And there will hopefully be a lot more mid-week skiing over the years!


  1. Man, you don't know how much I wish we could get together for a cup of coffee. Or a cocktail. You know I relate to SO much of this with my girls. I want to scream to the world that there's more to life than school. My main goal in life is to make sure they have the tools to figure out who they are. My sister has ADD, and I've watched her struggle her entire life, thanks in part to never really feeling "good enough," next to me, the sister who could take a test in her sleep. It's frightening to think about, but I think with parenting styles these days, and my own feelings of just wanting them to do what makes them happy, our kids will be in a much better place. xoxo

    1. I wish we lived closer too!!! For so many reasons!
      You have so much compassion and empathy and that makes you such a great parent. Your girls are lucky.

  2. JT and Noah could be clones. He's never been officially diagnosed with anything, but his brain works differently and we've slowly figured out what works for him. He has an uber smart brother as well which doesn't help matters. Every kid is different and unique that's for sure!! I totally agree with your view of standardized testing, and how we live in a standardized world. His algebra teacher teaches a flipped class, they can listen to music when they do their work, and Noah got 100% on his final exam. She totally gets it and I'm really impressed by her...
    I'm sure our kids are destined for great things, they take chances and think outside the box. I actually wish I was more like that!

    1. I had a feeling JT and Noah were kindred spirits. Maybe that's why JT has always been drawn to Noah. I hope you don't mind I shared the math class story with JT and it made him so hopeful. It is nice to know there are great teachers out there that get it. And other moms! Thank you for commenting. I hope you also don't mind me coming to you for advice, I think the teen years are going to be very interesting with JT. :) I totally agree with you that our kids are destined for great things!!!!!

  3. You're a good mom who knows her kids and who is sensitive and energetic and creative enough to do what you know is right for each of them. They will succeed in life because of who they are and because of who YOU are. xo