Writing can be hard. Encouraging kids to write can some days feel like pulling teeth out with tweezers. But often in these situations, it’s good to remember that kids will do well if they can – and often the reason they can’t is that something is getting in the way of creating those awesome you-have-to-listen-to-this-mum stories that kids seem to always have bubbling away in their heads.
How to educate a child who won’t be taught? It’s not a question I thought I’d ever need to answer, but life (and my daughter) decided this was the path we needed to follow.
Today, I’m going to talk about a few of the strategies I use to create a welcoming learning environment that steers my kids in the direction they need to go, without explicitly ‘teaching’ them.
In many ways, minimalism and creating a welcoming, calm environment for children (and their parents) with executive functioning issues go hand in hand.
Here are a few ways minimalism has helped our family.
“What is it like to be on ADHD Medication?”, a friend asked me the day I started.
For me? It was a huge mental difference. Not a ‘high’, but a zen calm. It’s the feeling you would get after sitting down after a long hike up a mountain to visit a sub-tropical rainforest spring.But that’s only part of it. Because it’s hard to describe without also understanding what living without medication is like. Until I started, I had no idea either. I mean, I had read about the external symptoms and I’d ticked enough boxes to get myself to a specialist. But I didn’t really understand.
In fact, when I asked the specialist, in my usual worried way, “How will I know if it’s working?”, he’d smiled at me and said, “You will know.” I swear, I heard a Yoda-like cadence there, too.
It’s been a hard month. I’m not sure I’m ready to write about it, to be honest. Looking down the barrel of an unknown illness is not exactly the most fun thing in the world. There’s been a lot of doctors scratching their heads, and blood tests.
But there has been bright spots – I am now officially 2e myself, with a confirmed ADHD diagnosis. And that bit has been wonderful (apart from the mild hiccough of prescribed medicines with a high chance of pushing me beyond the veil – hello unusual allergies!) There is an amazing relief to be found in describing difficulties and events from the past and having doctors nod their head and say, “That’s typical“.
I am now more aware of my children’s difficulties, and how to help them avoid the problems I have faced. I also know of the pitfalls ahead, which I’d thought of as personal failings – nope! Instead, typical 2e is – me. And the fear I know every parent faces, “Am I raising them right?“, now comes with a few more signposts. There is real hope. Continue reading “Homeschool; Life Update”
I must admit, my hands were sweating a little as I sat in the doctor’s office. Being here was something I had run through my head many dozen times before. I had asked my DH to book the appointment, knowing that if it had been up to me, I would never have picked up the phone. Continue reading “Labels: from Self-Doubt to Self-Discovery”
It can be easy to think of exceptions as things that need to be fixed, to treat difference as something that needs to be shoved back into the box (even while we laud the idea of individuality). But living with my fantastic twice exceptional little tribe has taught me a very valuable lesson: there is no path. There is no right way to do anything, and the exception can be just as beautiful and amazing as the more familiar way. Continue reading “Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road”
What do you do when you realise you need to make your learning spaces ADHD friendly?
Well, if you’re me, you go on a cleaning and reorganising binge. Here are some of the things we’ve been doing that seem to help. Continue reading “Ideas For Creating An ADHD-Friendly Homeschool”
One of the first things that you read about when you start to learn about what it means to be neurologically different, is that it can feel like being an alien, the veritable ‘Stranger in a Strange Land‘.
In our family, it was both a shock and a relief to realise that when we were looking for answers to why our children were developing outside of the box that we were also finding the answers for ourselves as well.
Continue reading “2e in the Family – Loving the Alien in Us”
You know, when I started this parenting gig, I didn’t really know a lot – hell, what parent does? There’s been highs and lows – the highs are really really high, the lows . . . let’s just say that the Mariana Trench has a lot going for it.
But somewhere along the line, I kind of got the impression that if my kids were hitting the milestones at roughly the right time, “all was well”. (The right time, of course was statistically figured out with a bell curve. They’re really neat and rather mathematically beautiful. I actually like them, as an idea).
Somewhere, in the depths of over eight years of crazy, the bit of my brain that used to sigh with relief when my kids hit those milestones exactly on time got rewritten. Now, when a nurse or doctor assures me that something is perfectly normal, just what they expected of child brain/body/whatever development, I go into full-fledged panic mode. Even though the maths part of my brain keeps reassuring me that my kids have to fall inside the middle of the bell curve for some things, another, perhaps more realistic part of my brain will go “you keep believing that if you like, buster, but I’ll be over here locking myself in the panic room.”
Continue reading “Those 2e Crazy-Eggs Just Keep On Popping Up”