You may be facing challenges raising an ADHD child. (I have been there myself and I know what it’s like.)
There may be times when you feel alone and concerned about your child’s future, but I can assure you – there IS a clear pathway to future success and happiness. There is hope.
It’s natural as a parent to worry for our kids, but the concerns can be magnified when it comes to raising a child with ADHD. I know firsthand as the parent of boys with ADHD that it takes a special blend of discipline, love, and sheer grit to navigate the parenting challenge. Raising a child is already tough in this day and age, let alone confronting the intricacies and special needs of a loved one with ADHD.
It helps to remember one of the first stories you may read to your child at story time in their early years– The Tortoise and the Hare.
I don’t need to recount the full narrative for you. Everyone knows the parable and the clear takeaway – the Tortoise can get ahead by continuing to be steady and consistent, no matter how slow it may go.
But kids with ADHD may find much more to relate with in the story of the Hare, who moves so quickly that he ultimately burns himself out. It’s just another interesting example of how our kids living with ADHD may see and experience the world in profoundly different ways – what can be an inspirational story about grit and persistence to most kids might come across as a reminder to others that their inability to slow down can harm them in the race of life.
But I don’t think that’s the message they should take away. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to success in life and some axioms don’t hold true for everyone – including “slow and steady wins the race.”
The fact is that if Hare had only received a little tender coaching and not fallen asleep, he would have easily won the race. His problem wasn’t that he was fast – it was that he didn’t learn how to properly harness his gifts and pace himself appropriately.
Not all of our kids are going to be the tortoise. Others are naturally inclined to be fast and adaptive – attributes that can give them an incredible advantage, especially in today’s complex economy in which the ability to work quickly in an agile fashion and learn new capabilities (rather than doing the same tasks over and over again) is a prized skill set. These kids are the ones uniquely primed to thrive in a globalized digital economy that increasingly calls for speed, adaptation, and continual creativity. Our kids may chafe at the slow-paced, analytical environment of the classroom – and that’s good, because our school system increasingly looks little like the work environment that it is nominally supposed to be preparing them for.
Breakthroughs begin with flipping our conventional thinking on its head. So let’s reexamine the stories we tell ourselves – does the Tortoise really have an advantage in most situations?
And is anything truly wrong with our kids? Or do they just need to be allowed to run in the right race for their skills?
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