If there is one thing parenting has taught me, it’s to be my kids number one fan. It is my job to cheer for them, support them, show up for them, yell at the ref for bad call, be proud when Tra makes a good tackle, be excited when Tyler scores a goal, be enthusiastic when Jade shows me the 1,000th picture she made in art. Aside from their necessities, as a parent, I have to make deposits into their mental and emotional accounts.
Yesterday I attended Tyler’s honors day program where he received honor roll for the 4th 9 weeks. There were so many kids that made the honor roll I couldn’t fit them all in the picture. Sure I wanted Tyler to make the principal’s honor roll or have honor roll for the entire year. But please believe I am so proud of this kid for what he did receive yesterday.
When Tyler was in the 1st grade, he was diagnosed with ADHD, although he has more ADD traits than ADHD. In the first grade, he struggled bad. Simple work was a chore, homework was a struggle, classwork was taxing. At the time, I really didn’t know what it was but I know my son was having a really hard time. I worked with him, his teacher worked with him, I prayed, we talked…everything I could do. It wasn’t an issue of comprehension, he was just having a really tough time doing his work and we couldn’t figure out why.
His teacher was the first to suggest it was ADHD. He wasn’t really having behavior issues, but his attention span was pretty much non-existent. So for a few weeks, we observed him and sure enough, he seemed to mentally wonder off. I finally bit the bullet and took him to the doctor. They gave me a questionnaire and had me give one to his teacher. I was shocked by the number of items on the list described my child. He was diagnosed and prescribed medication to help him in school. That was a hard decision to make because I really didn’t want him on medicine but at this point, what choice did I have?
I know a lot of people feel that ADHD isn’t a real condition and it’s often used to subdue “bad” children. This wasn’t the case for Tyler. He wasn’t getting into trouble at school but his grades were horrible. I’m talking C’s, D’s and some F’s. I was prepared to hold him back in the first grade because I was afraid he was going to fall behind in the 2nd grade. When he started taking the medicine, his teacher noticed a huge improvement in his grades. Tyler went from failing to A’s and B’s. He’s been taking ADHD medication since first grade and is now preparing to go to the 8th and continues to be an honor roll student.
I said all of that to say this: when you see parents celebrating their kids accomplishments, it’s not always for bragging purposes. Some parents are celebrating their kids accomplishments despite obstacles. ADHD isn’t as serious as some other diagnosis and can be easily managed through medication. But it is still a struggle. I had to learn that some of his faults are beyond his control and I had to be more lenient with him in some areas. I have to push him a little harder. He has to work a little harder. His teachers have to be observant and let me know when his grades may be slipping. I have to constantly remind him that he has ADHD but it’s not something we are going to let control him. He will not be defined by it. Tyler is a great student and will continue to be…he just needs a little help to keep him on track.
So parents, continue to celebrate those accomplishments, big or small because if you aren’t your kids biggest fan, who will be?