Don’t underestimate your kids!
Both of my children have special needs. I try not to always think of that. When we are at home I don’t even notice. They are just my kids. We have all learned to understand Richard and his sometimes strange ways of communicating. My husband and I have come to expect Sam’s forgetfulness or an occasional outburst because of ADHD. We have adapted.
Sometimes, however, there are these moments when they take me completely off guard. There are times when they do something that other parents may think is “normal” but is completely out of the ordinary for us. Those are the moments where my husband and I both take a deep breath and say “finally, we are making progress! our hard work IS paying off.” Because let’s face it, parents, coping with any type of special need or modification for our children is HARD work.
I don’t take them for granted
I try not to ever take anything with my children for granted. We try to live in the moments and be present and make memories every day, but there are things about our lives that I have just grown accustomed to; things I don’t really notice. For instance, I don’t really even think about the fact that Sam has to get up 30 minutes earlier than everyone else just to have enough time to allow for his ADHD making him so easily distracted while he is getting dressed. I also don’t notice all the letters that Richard pronounces wrong because we all understand it (I’ve even caught myself pronouncing words the way he does).
Sometimes they really surprise me
Then there are the moments when my children far surpass the expectations I have of them and their abilities. There are these little moments that sneak up on me where they are so NOT “special needs”. As they have both begun school this year I have noticed these “moments” are becoming much more frequent. Richard is talking more and more clearly every day. Sam is becoming more and more independent. My children are growing up, and it makes me a little sad, but it makes me so UNBELIEVABLY proud too!
This past week Sam has just astonished his dad and me. Sam has been helping out around the house without complaint. He has been offering to do chores that weren’t even assigned to him. He has taken it upon himself to read to his little brother at night or help him with bath and bedtime without being prompted. Sam is even getting himself up and dressed in the morning completely on his own. A year ago this would have been impossible for him. A year ago he was a totally different kid.
He went far above and beyond our expectations
This past weekend we were helping my father-in-law with his pontoon boat. We had taken all the siding off to install new carpet and seats and it was time to put the siding back. Sam had been working for quite some time with no complaints, no whining, no back talk, and virtually NO distractions. He was fetching tools, helping with the power drill, holding tools for Papa, and handing us hardware as we needed it. This is all very rare for a child with his level of ADHD.
Near the end of our project, Papa got a phone call from work. As he answered Sam continued to work, but Papa asked him to hold on a minute and not use the drill because it was so loud.
…and shocked us all!
This is when the magic happened. Without any prompting from any of the adults there, Sam put down the drill, went to the toolbox, found the appropriate sized ratchet and began manually tightening the last few screws on his own. Completely. On. His. Own. You could have pushed my husband and me over with a feather. We were beyond proud of him. He took the initiative and independently found a way to continue working without disrupting Papa’s phone call.
For us, this was a huge victory
That may be no big deal to some parents but I hope there are other ADHD parents out there reading this who understand just how HUGE it really was. I hope at least one other parent is reading this and finds hope knowing that YES, your child will get there. Yes, your child will mature, they will learn to work independently, they will find that thing or hobby they are so good at and interested in that they won’t have to be forced to participate. Yes, they will be able to focus and keep themselves on task. It may take years, you may feel exhausted, you may feel like throwing in the towel, but I assure you it WILL happen. Every kid develops at their own pace, and that goes double for your child with ADHD. But don’t give up hope, y’all, your time is coming. Your little superhero’s cape will appear just when you least expect it, and they will BLOW YOU AWAY!!!
All the love,
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For great tools, support, and information on ADD/ADHD, and parenting a child with ADHD go here: https://chadd.org/