Just this past May, in the weeks before my daughter was to graduate from 5th grade, I was at my children’s school and I ran into their Art teacher. She was one of the teachers who participated in filling out the ADHD testing forms back in 1st grade when the doctor suspected my daughter had it. Looking back on her answers, she definitely put a lot of thought and energy to this evaluation. I remember that this teacher spoke kindly and with understanding as I was going through some real struggles.
It was a comfort to feel like I wasn’t being blamed for my daughter’s behavior and encouraging to have someone on my team, focusing on my daughter’s strengths and helping with her weaknesses. So after we greeted each other with some small talk about how the kids had grown so much, she made a point to tell me that she had seen vast improvements in my daughter’s behavior this year. I cannot tell you the relief, joy, and pure happiness that I felt being told something positive about my daughter! I had noticed improvements myself, but it was so reassuring to hear it from this teacher.
I really have seen great strides in the right direction and I want to pass on encouraging words to other parents who may be struggling with a gifted child. Currently, my daughter’s temper flare-ups are often over before they have hardly begun. She has become a much better sport during games and doesn’t overreact when she loses. It’s great! We can actually play catch in the yard for more than 5 minutes without a meltdown. She is aware of her obsessive behaviors and is reasonable about them. For example, she understands that if we are in the airport in a hurry with lots of other people around her, she can’t play the game of not stepping on the lines. She seems to have more maturity in dealing with her brother. Instead of yelling at him, she has come up with a list of 4 rules for him about her room and her things. If he breaks one she adds a tally mark. It’s a calm, controlled way for her to set her boundaries and keep a record so we can handle the problems appropriately. I am so proud of my daughter!
Next week she starts middle school. Although we have been warned of the horrors of middle school, my daughter and I feel we are both ready. She is so excited to start a new school, meet some new friends, and enjoy her honors curriculum. I’m sure we will have some bumps in the road, but we have a strong bond and open communication which will see us through!