If life were easy, it would not be as rewarding. We all have the ability to make the best of the hand dealt with us.
There is a stigma with ADHD (attentive-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Most parents are reluctant to mention their child has it for fear of what others may think. ADHD resonates negativity with family members, friends, and especially teachers. So why, then, am I happy that all three of my boys have ADHD? Because I have ADHD, and it motivates me beyond words. I am a better person because of it.
I want the best in life for my children as does everyone else. I want them to have every available opportunity, every possible success, and most importantly, very happy lives. Although most people shy away from the hard work it takes raising boys with ADHD, I welcome it. Is it difficult? Absolutely! Is it frustrating? You bet it is! Is it rewarding? More than you can imagine!
I grew up with ADHD, although never diagnosed with it, as a child. I was inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive beyond belief and that got me in trouble more than I care to admit. Did that make me a bad person? Of course not, it just made my life more difficult than the ‘normal’ kid’s life. Many times, as soon as a word or action left my body, I regretted it. Why did I do that? Why did I say that? I said ‘I’m sorry’ in my head every day. I had to work at behaving. I had to work at listening. I had to try ten times harder at studying. But, I did it. And, I am successful. I help people every day overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable. I wrote a book. I started my physical therapy practice. I am unstoppable!
That is what I want for my boys. Yes, it sucked for years. Yes, people looked at me funny at times. And, yes, I feel fulfilled! Here are the three reasons I am happy my three boys have ADHD.
1. ADHD kids can be very successful.
From the time I was a child, my ADHD kept me hopping. I wanted to do more, learn more, be more. I had too much energy. My parents used this to my advantage and enrolled me into gymnastics. It was amazing. My energy was boundless. I worked hard, had fun, and always tried to better myself. Gymnastics was my first (sport) love! I could not wait to go. I felt amazing flipping, jumping, and tumbling. It is one of my best memories growing up.
In high school, I tried out for volleyball only because a friend wanted me to go with her. I loved it. I got to run, jump, and hit a ball. I was good at it. I made varsity the first year I tried out. It was such a high. So much better than a chemical high. I was on top of the world. I could not wait to go every week. This is the feeling I want for my sons.
My oldest son was incredible at every sport he did. Every coach he had from four years old made mention about it to me. It made him so confident and for that I am so thankful.
2. ADHD kids can be considered trouble-makers.
I got in trouble many times growing up while at home and school. It always confused me because I could not control my impulses and reactions. So many people would get annoyed with me. It hurt. I did not mean to do 90% of the things I did.
My seat was moved on a regular basis in school because I would talk to whoever was sitting next to me. Of course, it was after my work was done, but maybe their work was not. I could not contain myself, but I did not see that as a limitation. I was done, I was happy, and I wanted to chat. My grades were great, but my teachers did not understand.
I have gone to bat for my middle son since he was in grade school. He is a wonderful child but misunderstood. He is shy, sensitive, and very bright. I always won the battle due to perseverance. AHDH children will do amazing things in this world for generations to come. For that, I am so thankful.
3. ADHD kids can get lost in the shuffle.
My youngest son was the ‘least’ ADHD child I had. No ADHD child presents the same. There are so many different levels of ADHD, and many of them go unnoticed. He was so sweet, so polite, but so unattentive. I spoke with his teachers year after year about my concerns for his learning ability. They assured me he was ‘normal.’ However, he kept falling behind which made him feel ‘stupid’ at times as he would tell me. He is funny, sensitive, and brilliant. I knew this, so I made sure his teachers knew it as well. Today he has the confidence he never had. He is amazing. Although his personality kept him from complaining, today he is on top of the world. For that, I am so thankful.
If you treat children with ADHD as handicapped, they will grow up to be handicapped. If you treat them as exceptional, they will grow up to be exceptional.
If life were easy, it would not be as rewarding. We all have the ability to make the best of the hand dealt to us. We can either look at it as a disability or as a special strength, no matter how everyone else sees it. Adversity is power. Empower your special children and teach them the importance of their gift. They are the ones who will make the world a better place.
Photo: Flickr/ Sooz