ADD/ADHD and school. That just about sums it up, doesn’t it? It seems to me that a huge portion of the anger, frustration, humiliation, and just general bad feelings those of us with ADD (or ADD kids) experience can be tied directly to school and school performance (or lack thereof).
It makes sense, I suppose, when you think of it; much of a kid’s life revolves around school for a very long time, and if school is not such a pleasant experience for you (or your kid), it can seem like it lasts forever. As the mother of 3 kids with Attention Deficit Disorder, I looked forward to snow days and vacation days as much as they did, and parent teacher conferences – that was like getting called to the principal’s office.
What, you might ask, has brought on all this doom and gloom? A simple thing, really, and actually a very nice thing. A good friend of ours called last week to share some good news about her oldest daughter. She is due to graduate from college this year, and has landed a job in Chicago, which is near where I live.
I’m happy for her, truly. She is a wonderful girl, from a wonderful family. She is smart and she works hard, and she deserves all that is good in life. I don’t begrudge her good fortune one bit.
Here’s the thing, though (you knew it was coming, didn’t you)? This lovely girl is a year younger than my oldest daughter, and the same age as my son, neither of whom are graduating this year. All 3 of my children at this point are in college, and in good schools, too. I consider that quite a victory in itself. But none of them will graduate at the same time as their peers.
Although at this point, I beleive that they all have majors they intend to keep, they didn’t start out that way. And each of them has had some trouble adjusting to college life, and it’s lack of structure. None of them has gone away to school except my oldest, and that was only last year.
They have each grown up and matured since high school, and I believe that they appreciate school more than they used to. They see the value now of homework and studying, and if they have trouble with it, they don’t mind asking for help. Those are huge steps forward. A child who values their education is worth their weight in gold.
While it makes me sad sometimes to hear such wonderful news about other people’s children, I wouldn’t trade my kids for the world. No matter how they try your patience, I know you feel the same way about yours. Whenever I start feeling a little down about my kids, I think about Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, or rather, their moms.
The school told Thomas Edison‘s mom that he was unteachable, but she knew better, and began homeschooling him. Albert Einstein‘s grades in elementary school were so horrible that he was suspected of being developmentally disabled. Reading, spelling, even tying his shoelaces, were beyond him. Mrs. Einstein went into overtime helping young Albert with his schoolwork, and obviously, something paid off.
As parents of kids with ADD or ADHD, we might face more challenges than most, especially when it comes to school. But, at the same time, we must remember, we are also blessed to be the parents of such creative and innovative thinkers.
You never know how that kid of yours might turn out, or maybe, like Tom and Albert’s moms, you do.