Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Letting a kid be a kid, I wish!

People always say, let them be kids! Don't make them grow up too fast!

Oh how I want to do that. But we have more to think about than that.

If you parent a child who has a very strong will and is prone to acting out and testing limits, and who struggles with choices and gets in trouble out in the world, then you have to expect more and demand more.

Lots of kids will take testing just to the line and see what happens. A child like mine will run right over the line, not just once but maybe many times. And not just today, but day after day.

While it may seem challenging now, I have said before that kids diagnosed with ADHD often have gifts that are treasured in adulthood.

It's not like this all the time, but when it is, we have to work and learn and grow and teach every single day of his life. Those who are not his parents will probably never understand.

One of our hardest lessons is, there's a time to be silly and a time to be serious. The time to be silly is NOT right before we head out the door to school and are in a hurry. We have had this discussion, I'm certain, 942 times. But it has gotten better. There is progress.

And if he starts down a really silly path - like pretending to be a kitty on all fours throughout the house, for example - if it goes on too long or too exhuberantly, it can spiral into something less manageable. We have to try and maintain a certain level of calmness and structure all the time. I've seen what happens when we lose that.

But you know what, he is learning and growing. And he gets rewards all the time for his good choices, like the medals and trophy above. The other day he decided to put all of that stuff on and parade around the house.

While some days may be tough for us and he may not always get to be a "kid" like others, maybe others don't get all kinds of medals and ribbons and trophys for the days they try so hard. He can look at these tangible reminders of how hard he's worked and feel proud. He can be king for a day :)

And so maybe he's still a kid, just with a different perspective, and in the end I think that's okay.

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