Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do they know?

The other day, as I was watching all the kids get on the school bus outside our front door, I dreamed about having a "normal" kid... a kid who gets themselves ready in the morning without 100 reminders or redirections... a kid who does their homework without complaining and completes it in a normal amount of time... a kid who doesn't have a meltdown every time he doesn't get his way... and the list goes on and on.

Then I wondered... Do they know?

Do the other parents know what we go through on a daily basis, just to get ready for school?
Do the other parents know what we go through every night when we have to do homework?
Do they realize how good they really have it? Do they appreciate their kids?

I love my kids with all my heart and I wouldn't trade them for the world... but some days I just wish for some semblance of normalcy. What is our "normal" you may ask - here are just a few glimpses of what it is like to be a parent of a kid with ADHD:

- Simple tasks like getting dressed, making a bed, or brushing their teeth require numerous reminders and redirections and it takes 10 times longer than it should.
- Sometimes I just help them get dressed, eventhough they can do it by themselves, just so that it won't take so long.
- Decisions like what to eat for breakfast become a long drawn out discussion and are a cause for frustration and meltdowns because they can't decide what they want to eat.
- While eating any meal, keeping them seated in their chair is next to impossible... they get up to look at something or get involved in other activities going on around them. There is always at least one trip to the bathroom during each meal. When they are seated, it is not on their bottom, there is a knee above the table or they are sitting on their knees.
- Homework requires chewing gum, an exercise ball, a timer, and at least one parent.
- The mention of the work homework causes pain for both kid and parent.
- Every time the phone rings while the kids are at school, I pray it is not the school calling and if it is the school calling, my heart falls into my stomach.
- I know all the special ed teachers, counselor, psychologist, school administrators on a first name basis.
- A simple email communication between parent & teacher normally has the principal & vice principal cc'd on the email.

There are so many more - but it is making me tired just thinking about it all!

Then on the flip side, there are all the benefits of having a kid with ADHD...
- Endless amounts of energy!
- Creativity
- Empathy beyond understanding
- Caring and loving unconditionally
- Endless amounts of energy!
- Determination
- Love of nature and animals
- oh and can't forget... Endless amounts of energy!

Today when your kids get home from school... give them a big hug and tell them how much you appreciate them!

Feel free to share some of your family's "normal" ADHD routines.


sara said...

The answer put simply is "no". I think all of us parents are guilty of negativity and assuming our kids should be "different" than they are, better, more hardworking, empathetic, kind, quick.

And yet, God created them perfectly.

Kelly @ The Miller Mix said...

Your experience is so familiar. I sometimes wonder if my son will be 30 and still need a timer to get his teeth brushed.

I'm also happy to hear that I'm not the only one who more times than not will just dress her kid to eliminate the hassle of getting him to do it himself.

Penny Williams said...

Thanks for sharing a link to this on my blog. I had not seen it. It is all so familiar for me too.

Breakfast for us is always better than other meals in that my son will not get up and down numerous times. It wasn't until just reading your post that I realize it's because he eats breakfast at the "snack bar" and sits in a bar-height chair. He has to climb to get into it so it's not easy to just jump down and go back and forth.

I too find myself wishing for normalcy. I would trade my kiddos for all the "normal" (neurotypical) kiddos in the world, but I would give back the ADHD if I could.