We are taking a break this week. It’s not “on the schedule” but I’ve needed some time to regroup. I attended an Attention deficit Disorder Meeting Monday night and it confirmed my suspicions that I have a son with ADD. Inattentive describes him well. For whatever reasons, I’ve been under the impression that this was a behavioral problem. I’ve treated it as such. Each year, I’ve buckled down a little more and accommodated a little less. I don’t even know that I truly recognized the validity of ADD/ADHD. Maybe for other people’s children, but certainly not my own. For the most part, I’ve thought it was an excuse for bad behavior and bad parenting. (Hangs head in shame) While this is NOT the mindset of every homeschooler I have known, it was for most. Even my own husband has said that ADHD is a made up condition caused from lax parenting.
I’ve always known that my Puddles has learning issues. What causes those issues has been a mystery to me. I’ve often tried my hardest to MAKE that boy change. I’ve hesitated to label him because I didn’t want to be making excuses for bad behavior. To my fundamentalist mind, that was a sin. Yes, there could be some acknowledgment that a child has ADD/ADHD but the undercurrent was usually that the kid was just bad and not spanked enough or disciplined enough.
I’ve believed that my son’s inattentiveness has been my fault. I’ve felt that the solution lies in discipline and not the good kind. I’m sad about that. But it’s one of those things that I’m dealing with right now. I’m Seeing my children in a different light. I’m learning who they are and how I can help them with their strengths and weaknesses. Not to make them selfish, or lazy but to allow them to learn in a way that works for them. I want to understand them.
One of the things that the speaker said Monday night that really struck me is that if you don’t let children know that they are different, that their brain works differently and how that is no reflection on them, they WILL internalize their disorder and start to think they ARE stupid, no good, slow, etc. That’s what I’m fighting against now. I’m fighting against ANY internalization that he has done in the wake of my trying to parent or discipline the inattentiveness out of him.
So major parenting fail for me. I’d love to point fingers and blame others for my parenting snafus but I drank the Kool-Aid. I bought into the mindset that right behavior was the best sign of a good parent and good child. I’m just glad that I’ve seen the falacy in it. Because my children deserve more than that and so do I!