Have you ever been completely blown away by kindness?
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the goodness of humanity?
My daughter Rosie has emigrated to Israel last month. Hubby and I flew out with her to settle her in and spend some lovely, family time together. She had a job to go to and an apartment organised.
Or so we thought………..
However the day before we were due to fly home the apartment fell through. Panic! Looking on the usual websites and forums there was nothing. She couldn’t afford an AirBnB or hotel. It was emotional enough leaving her without this added hassle.
We put our feelers out to friends and family on Facebook. Help!
We were completely blown away.
Friends of friends of friends of friends stepped up.
They were messaging, offering Rosie to sleep on their sofa, sharing contacts, and generally being loving and caring to her predicament.
When we think the world is a shitty place, think again.
We experienced unselfish kindness and goodness.
As things turned out, she was offered an apartment which was in every aspect lovelier than the original one
So why am I telling you this, and what does it have to do with our children with ADHD?
If our children are shown kindness then this simple act can make all the difference between success and failure.
I worked with some incredibly kind, loving teachers and support staff who went above and beyond for pupils who experienced difficulties and challenges.
Children are increasingly experiencing mental health problems. 1 in 10 of our young people will experience a mental health difficulty. There are all sorts of reasons why this is happening. But one thing I know for sure. We must all do our bit to make a little person’s world as happy as possible.
And I think we start with kindness.
Your child with ADHD is bursting with ideas. Give them time and space to voice their opinion, make choices and feel valued. Give opportunities to share successes and to shine.
Spend time together doing silly stuff. Too often, particularly with teenagers, conversations revolve around demands, commands, questioning or nagging. Make life fun and frivolous. Don’t discuss serious stuff unless it’s necessary or urgent. Let your child guide the conversation. Smile.
Your children with ADHD will make mistakes. Missed appointments, broken promises, bungled friendships, late homework. Life can be tough. So instead of criticizing and retribution (“I told you when your homework was due!”) offer words of support. Find a way together to avoid this situation happening again. What can you use for reminders, organisers, or to learn social cues? Your child needs your help not your disapproval.
Notice me for the good things
Make sure teachers know about the things your child can succeed at. Ask what opportunities there are for your child to shine with their natural talents and abilities. Your child may be super creative, so how is this demonstrated within the classroom?
Ask me how I am
Does your child’s teacher spend time talking to your child? Asking about their weekend? Sharing a joke or asking for an opinion. The most successful teachers are those that show a sense of humour and take time to make a child feel special.
How does the teacher make me feel?
This is a vital component of a successful relationship. If a teacher is patient, understanding and kind your child will feel safe and comfortable and more likely to learn.
If a teacher rules with fear, is cross and impatient your child may feel nervous, uncomfortable and will not be in the right mind-set to learn.
The fantastic ADHD Richmond and Kingston group produced the video below in which four young woman with ADHD describe their experiences. Some of it is heartbreaking. One girl when asked “what do the bullies say?” answered “bullies were my teachers”. This is so wrong. Even if it’s not the reality this is her perception and it must stop.
Being kind is easy.
Being kind can work like magic.
Being kind is what your child with ADHD needs.