My youngest son came home from school the other day and said to me,
“I told the class I was ADHD today during circle time.”
Really? What did you say that meant?
” I told them I was retarded.”
Yikes. Break my heart. I have now realized that despite all of the efforts to convey to my son that is a good boy, that sometimes acts too quickly without thinking first…he now identifies himself as ADHD. Further to that, he identifies himself as ‘retarded’ because of it.
Of course he would think that something is ‘wrong’ with him…after numerous visits to the psychologist, numerous ‘tests’, and a special ‘rewards’ program at school, he would catch on that he is not the same as everyone else in his class.
Since that day, I have been on a mission. A mission to instill in my son a sense of pride for who he is and a belief that he can achieve anything and become anything that he wants. ADHD is not a deficiency! It is a simply a different way of learning, observing and reacting to things. And from ‘different’ I mean different from status quo or from societal and educational expectations.
I firmly believe that once a child’s self-esteem is affected, your job as a parent to help your child reach his full potential becomes extremely difficult.
So that day, I took matters into my own hands…again. This time with an aggressive array of positive affirmations. Each morning when he wakes up and each night before going to bed, he has been repeating the same phrases.
I am a good boy.
I am intelligent and capable of achieving many things.
ADHD is a gift from god.
I am full of love and full of talent.
Sometimes, when possible, he and I repeat this throughout the day as well.
A friend of mine told me recently that the power of affirmations has been proven over and over again and that the Buddhists are firm believers in this concept. 7 times a day for 7 days they say. This is almost impossible given that our reality includes a job and school. But I figure that if we do our best and keep at it, we will still see the results.
And lo and behold we do. Our son has become more confident in his homework, and get this…less confrontational at home with authority.
So, there you have it. Our latest mission. Our latest attempt at dealing with the ever-challenging child, but doing it in a positive, loving, and non-medicated sort of way.
By the way, I had a meeting with the school today…I’ll tell you all about it later.
Peace and love,