The Noticing

If you have a kid with attention deficit, you have a DAYDREAMER.  These children tend to be the kinds of kids who stare out windows, are looking elsewhere, twirl their hair, bite their nails and/or generally are in their own little world.  If you are a teacher, please do yourself a favor, and put these kiddos right by your desk.  All year.  For the life of school – or your child – or BOTH.

Learning is a very important, critical part of your child’s early years. Reading, Writing, Math, Science and History are necessary subjects – so your kid will have to learn them just like the other kids.  But if you are a parent of a child with ADHD, let me tell you something.  While having a daydreamer for a kid can be frustrating, especially when school is in session and its homework time – it can also be one of the very best things that can ever happen to you.

You see, we have ‘The Noticers.’  Our kids see the average stuff – but then they go on to see SO MUCH MORE.  For instance, my daughter can be reading a lesson out loud while we do homework together – but then she will stop and stare out the window.  It is then that she will point out to me the most beautiful red cardinal I have ever seen in a tree quite far away.  And while this can sometimes be frustrating, I realize that I have never seen a cardinal that red, or in that tree before.

Sometimes, my child will be telling me something and she switches topics.  This happens often, so as a parent I back up the conversation, ask her to repeat the first thought and then we work to stay on the topic. This is a necessary life-skill that we need to teach our ADHD kids because we have all talked to people in the adult world who are all over the place in conversation.  We get lost, we get frustrated and/or we lose interest.  There are lots of methods to keep a kid on topic and I will post more on that later.

But in the switching of topics, The Noticers will often have moved on to discover something so amazing and wonderfully unique that we may have never discovered on our own.  My daughter always amazes me with the things she sees.  It can be anything from the shape of a cloud, to a billboard that is torn in one small corner, to an insect I’ve never seen, to a tombstone deep in a cemetery that “has a beautiful Jesus on it.”  She will notice your earrings, or your shoes, if you part your hair differently or if you wear a new lipstick.  She will NOTICE these things – and she will compliment you on them. Daily.

So maybe, my kid has trouble ‘noticing’ her homework sometimes – or ‘noticing’ what is being written on the whiteboard at school.  And I am not discounting that at all.  She does need to pay attention in school and in life the best she can.  However, what I have learned in this ADHD journey with Grace is that my child notices what really matters.  She notices the man holding the sign on the corner that says he is hungry and homeless.  She notices the children around the world who are hungry and poor.  She notices when other children at school are sad, or stressed, or need a friend.  And she notices these things enough to stop and to say something or to try and help and make a difference.

Its alright if your little one is staring out the window, or twirling, can’t sit still or can’t stay on topic. Just keep striving and learning and trying.  I bet you have a kid just like mine.  My kid cares.  Despite all her distractions….she is fully there –  caring, and loving, and noticing.

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