Sometimes it seems like being the parent of an ADHD child is all about frustration and fear. Frustration that they can’t seem to get stuff done the way their peers, brothers and sisters can and fear that they won’t be able to make their way in the world.
I propose another way to look at it. An ADHD child is a chance to explore other options in life besides the-get-good-grades-go-to-college-get-a-good-job-work-until-you-retire option.
Those of you who are veterans of ADHD parenting probably know that this is a difficult path for an ADHD child to follow. They’re intelligent enough to do pretty much whatever they want, BUT that ADHD thing gets in the way of the routine aspects of school and life.ADHD kids are not good at being consistent or compliant.
They aren’t good at routine and they crave stimulation and excitement.
They aren’t probably going to do well in very structured jobs like office work and accounting, for example. They would likelier be happy as salesman,actors,artists, public speakers and so on.They will want to pursue other career and lifestyle options.
Most of us ADHD parents, especially the ones who don’t have ADHD themselves, have never considered these other options. We may even be a little afraid of them. They’re not what most people do.
We need to reframe this viewpoint and see it as a chance for us to grow and have new life experiences vicariously. For instance, I never would have learned so much about gemstones if my ADHD child hadn’t developed an interest in gems and jewelry design.
No one on either side of the family has ever been in the jewelry or the design business. I can tell a sapphire from a ruby most days, but that’s about the limit to my knowledge. I was just pleased that he developed an interest, a passion and followed up by getting the training he needed.
I was thinking more of medical school or psychology, but that was never really in the cards.
The important thing is he followed his interests. He found something he’s passionate about and as his parents we get to learn, experience an area we never would have experienced.
So ADHD parents, think outside the box. Allow your ADHD child to deviate from the family plan and explore his/her interests.