Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) have my child feeling like he doesn’t even see the world the same as everyone else. All day, every day— at school and at home—he hears corrections, warnings, and redirections. Few things make sense in his world. And his most recent takeaway is, “I’m just bad.”
It’s sad to hear. And I’m struggling not to give him only negative feedback. We started a star chart in our home. I try to give him a star at any positive contact or behavior I possibly can. In turn, he gets to trade them in for his beloved screen time. I’ve also upped the number of times I say “I love you” and “I like you” and “I am so glad I’m yours.”
How, as parents of kids who constantly swim against the current of life, do we find enough moments to praise our children? How do we help them feel self-worth and pride in who they are?
I don’t know.
For me, it’s about being OK cringing inside and keeping my mouth shut more often. And yes, sometimes I do end up shouting out, “No! Be careful!”
Finding other parents with similar children is encouraging. Enjoy time with others who get it and who can laugh and shake their heads with us at some of the things our kids do (as opposed to being surrounded by those who instruct their kids to stay away from ours).
Yes, we’ll keep trying medications to help lessen some of the noise going on in our son’s head. Yes, we’ll keep going to therapy to add another voice of authority to support our boy’s self-esteem. And yes, we’ll keep trying things to find what he’s good at. Like soccer! He’s loving it and it’s great for him.
But trying to minimize the world’s input, like exasperated teachers and classmates who don’t understand, is a full-time job.
May we all find those that remind us of our good attributes, our fine hearts and our contributions to our world we all share. Connecting with other parents. It can open a world of new things.