My name is Melody, and I’m the mother of three children — two of which are diagnosed ADHD, as am I. I’m excited to begin blogging here on Empowering Parents. Today’s disjointed society separates us from one another, yet through websites such as this we can be the village that it takes to raise our children. The things I hope to blog about, muse on and mull over — regarding my parenting children with behavioral challenges — may bring about comments from others that I hope will make me think, learn, and grow as both a parent and as a person. I hope to put out there the truth that I experience. Maybe it can help other parents to see that they are not alone either. Thanks for joining me.
For years it has been a struggle to get through the day with my oldest two children, as the dynamics between them are at times intensely emotional and extremely unpredictable. My eldest daughter is eight and a half years old and her brother is seven, and we are also blessed with a two-year-old little girl. During their early childhood, I stayed at home and ran a family day care, so there was a great deal of interaction with others their age, but it was always a challenge — I worried about the behavior my own children would display and how that would impact the climate of my home at any given time. Yes, as an educator I am fully aware of the fact that I am supposed to be the decisive element in the climate of my environment, hence tremendous guilt for in hindsight; I know that raising a child with behavior challenges inevitably alters the balance when you are talking about your home.
Since the very beginning, my daughter has been a high spirited, tenacious, determined child, which is a set of skills that are terrific as an adult, but certainly challenging for me as a parent. The trick for me is to guide those fabulous traits (I prayed so hard for) in the right direction. She can be a natural leader and is very expressive, but has frequently found it difficult to adjust to the different needs, ideas, and desires of others around her. Unfortunately, in first grade we began to have problems in school due to her behaviors and inability to attend appropriately to either social situations or instructional time. She is extremely intelligent as testing revealed her vocabulary, reading and comprehension, as well as mathematical conceptual skills to be several grades above. She was given the diagnosis of ADHD and began Ritalin in first grade which seemed to be a miracle.
Truth be told, the challenges my children bring to the plate are so weighty that all my skill and knowledge sometimes feels as if it’s gone right out the window! As the saying goes, Physician heal thyself, well, it’s the same type of thing for a teacher, but I can attest it is very difficult to do this as a parent!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Melody’s blog.