Monday, September 5, 2011

Being Good

"Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill."~Buddha

I had another blog posting ready but this is on my heart so it's going first.  I was posting these under Jacob's Journey, but I've been lazy about posting over there.  

As most of you know, my son has been diagnosed as ADHD.  It makes our lives a bit more interesting to say the least.  We've had a really good summer.  It's always easier when he doesn't have to sit still for an eight hour school day.  Well, we're back to school now.  Week one was actually pretty good.  I forgot to give him his meds the first two days and he did OK.  He was a bit better the second two on the medicine.  He has a great and understanding teacher this year so that helps.

Jacob has been a bit rambunctious the last couple days.   Today was no exception.  Luckily he got to work off some of the energy at the playground.  We went to my mom's afterwards.  While there he picked up her Magic 8-Ball (you know - the kind you shake and ask some stupid question like "am I going to win the lottery?").  He asked it if he was going to be good when he grows up.  Geez.  I about broke into tears right then.  

Where does he get the idea that he's a bad person?  You don't realize just how much he picks up on what other people say.  I picked him up in my arms right then and gave him a big hug and told him "of course you are since you are such an amazing kid already!"  Later on he was called a few more names.  He told me when we talked about it that he wanted to say something but he was trying not to get into more trouble.  I know its tough for him but sometimes I forget how tough it must be for him.  He loves me so much that he is trying not to cause me so much difficulty and he's trying to make other people happy too.

On the surface most people just see a bad kid.  They think he just doesn't listen.  They don't know that it's harder for him to focus.  He's easily distracted.  He is quite impulsive.  He has a really strong sense of justice and will "fall out" if he feels he has been wronged.  He has me telling him what to do.  He has two bossy sisters trying to either tell him what to do or get him into some mischief.  He has tons of teachers with different discipline styles all directing him.  Then the occasional family or friend trying to be helpful.  And has a dad that doesn't think there is anything wrong with him and that he can control his behavior but chooses not to.

No wonder he just gives up sometimes.  And feels like he is a "bad" kid.  He's seven.  Let me repeat that - "He's SEVEN."  Not 14.  Not 21.  Not 30.  He doesn't have life experience to tell him how to behave in public.  He learns from his peers.  Kids his age that for the most part don't act any differently than he does without having a behavioral problem to deal with.  Why do most people expect him to act like a grown up?  To sit still for an 8-hour school day.  I can't sit still that long.   I don't know many people who can.  

Why do people have to call him names?  Why do people label him?  Why can't he just be accepted as an active kid.  A very smart, very loving kid when he's allowed to be.  He's not lighting fires or knocking out people's windows with stray rocks or accidental pitches.  He's not bullying other kids.  He likes to climb.  Anything.  He can't walk - he always has to run.  He fidgets.  Put Mario Bros. in front of him and he's a statue.  Other than that he's moving unless he's sleeping.  But he'll give you a bear hug and melt you with his smile.  Especially if he wraps his arms around you and says "I love you mommy."

So give my kid a break.  And all the others out there that are just being kids.  Don't call them names.  Don't label them.  Let them be who they are meant to be.  Try to remember when you were a kid.  I'm sure we all drove just a few adults crazy.  And we turned out OK.  Most of us turned out to be functioning and contributing adults.  Let them be kids just a little bit longer.  Because before long, they'll be graduating from college.  Walking down the aisle.  Having a hard time enjoying life because of the constraints of being an adult.  It will be here before we know it.  I love you baby just the way you are!


  1. Jacob is a doll. People often mistake a child's frustration &/or an occasional inability to express their feelings in a way we would like as misbehaving. Give him a big hug from us! We miss you guys!

  2. My son had it as I've probably mentioned. His was a difficult childhood as he made few friends and no self esteem until one day he discovered that by being the class clown kids laughed with him and not at him. That wasn't good because his circle of friends became much the same and not positive influences. Since he's almost 30 the schools then were of no use to us. They kept calling us and complaining of his behavior but 8 hours after something happens it's irrelevant to even begin discussing because his mind moved on 1000 times by then. He was on meds too. He just was difficult. Yet at home, people loved him and adored him. Wherever we went, I got compliments on what a great kid he was. Hug him, love him, find support groups if you have to, but don't give up on him (which I don't think you would anyway). Hugs to both of you!