By now we are in a month, give or take, of our new normal. I am wondering how you are all doing and coping? How is homeschooling your ADHD children? While I am a homebody by nature, this is testing my resolve as well.
I, too, am juggling running my business, managing my household and now, being an accountability partner for our sons while they manage their home learning. This is no easy feat even for me, and this is what I do for a living!
I have observed a great deal of how my son is managing his schedule and being productive during this time. I am thankful I am able to help him succeed and stay focused each day. In so many ways, he is stepping up and exceeding all our expectations.
My eyes have also been opened to some personality traits that are so common on a regular basis, but now, in this environment seem exasperated. Anyone relate?
Some things have been easier during his home learning and other things I have realized need some additional support. The persistent interruptions when his sweet brain is focused on one main thought that is taking over. Until he has a definitive answer or direction, he simply will not let it go…meaning he is quite fine interrupting me when I’m on a client call. Never minding the expectation that has been set to not even “go there” when I am on a call. Ahhh…the persistent trait of those with ADHD. It is playing out daily in my life.
I’m wondering if your eyes have been more opened to the ongoing difficulties of how your child lives with ADHD?
You are witnessing first hand, how a day in their academic life plays out. You are privy to behind the scenes of how their brains are functioning and processing their work and how their behaviors are playing out on a daily basis.
While you may have known about it from a big picture standpoint, now, it has become crystal clear of all they are expected to handle:
The onslaught of distractions that are overwhelmingly keeping your child from staying on task.
The overload of information they are needing to process on their own.
The responsibility of planning their day – how much structure they need to succeed in completing work and being productive.
The shutting down when things are hard and overwhelming.
The anger/tempers when transitioning or just all the pent up emotions and frustrations around their school work.
The limited social interaction due to being physically cut off from their friends.
This is just some of what is happening. Not to mention anxiety creeping in…the feeling of overwhelm of work, the pressure of meeting expectations.
And we may not even be halfway through.
I’d like to share some mindsets around our child’s education during this time of uncertainty, with the hope you will be able to breathe easier and share this calmness with your child as well.
#1 Mindest: We ALL need to walk away with our mental health intact. THAT, my friends, IS THE MAIN MINDSET.
While my son’s grades and education are very important, it never will be as important as their emotional well being and their mental health. And it, most certainly, will not define them.
Let’s not have our only conversation with them be focused solely on their grades. This is only part of their lives. They have been impacted (as we all have) by so much more than this. I recognize those who have ADHD may have difficulties expressing themselves and putting words to emotions. That’s OK – just be with them. Your presence matters!
Mindset #2: This is a small blip in their lives and will not impact their grades as much as you fear.
This time DOES not and WILL not define them academically. Trust and be assured that since this is a global pandemic, it is happening to everyone and accommodations will be applied.
Maybe their grades will drop a bit, maybe they won’t. Maybe they won’t be the straight-A or B student (maybe they will) at the end of the year. And maybe they will need to do a lot of review in September. It will be okay!
Maybe this lack of structure in so overwhelming to your child (and they can’t verbalize it to you and will tell you that they’ve got it all under control, when in fact they may not) that even their best attempt to work it out on their own just doesn’t yield the results they would like.
Mindset #3: Do not fulfill your need for control by overcontrolling your child.
I understand there is VERY little we can control right now. And that is unsettling for some.
Let’s not allow our children to be the means of how we fill that need. Don’t overcontrol their learning, don’t micromanage, don’t over chore them, etc.
As long as classwork is due by the end of the day, let go of WHEN it needs to be done. Don’t micromanage the process!
Everyone has a lot of their plate:
One of the best things you can do every night is have family huddle with the goal being to walk through everyone’s schedule for the next day. This allows everyone to be on the same plate (or schedule) and it helps everyone meet their own expectations.
This is meant to help ease your mind that everyone is doing what needs to be done. ALLOW everyone to have their own control over their schedule.
You are not alone in this. You have help. There are resources out there.
It’s because of this that I have created a private FB group page – Succeed with ADHD! – where I can pour into you and serve you as best I can. I am responding daily (even multiple times) to questions, concerns, challenges from the members. I understand there are days that are seemingly unending and beyond frustrating. You don’t have to go it alone.