I was thinking about what the most important things are that I want my kids to know as they navigate through life with ADHD. We get so caught up in just surviving each day that I loved the idea of sitting down and writing a list of the things I want them to learn from my experiences.
I have 3 boys with ADHD and I spent some time last weekend thinking about what I want them to learn from me. Not as an ADHD coach but as their mum. What advice would I give them or what are 10 things that I would like them to know.
Here they are:
I know making and keeping friends can be hard. I want you to know that friendship is wonderful but good friends can be hard to find. It can take time to find your people. I didn't meet my people till after my school years. Some people will love you and some people will hate you but ultimately, what they think of you is none of your business. You keep being you and be proud of who you are. The right people will join you.
2. Sometimes people are jerks
This is a big world with all different types of people. There is no escaping it, sometimes people will just be jerks. You cannot change their behaviour but you do have control of whose behaviour you allow to affect you. You get to choose who you let in. You get to choose whose words you will listen to. There will always be jerks, just make sure you don't give them any more of your time or brain space than you absolutely have to.
3. Your school marks don't matter
When you show me your report card, I don't really care about the marks or grades. I care that you are trying your best and that you are respectful and kind. My goal for you and school is for you to get through it. Your worth is not dictated by a grade.
4. There are not many things in life that you can't come back from
It is ok to make mistakes. It is ok to try things on to see if they fit. View life like a curious experiment to see how things turn out. You can fail spectacularly and still get up and try something new.
5. Own it when you make a mistake
No one is perfect. When you stuff up, don't be too proud to say "I made a mistake". If you make a poor choice, own it, apologise and make a plan for what to do next time. When you win you win but when you lose you learn. It is all valuable.
6. I don't expect you to have it all figured out
Here is the secret, no one has it all figured out. Some people just do a good job of looking like they do. It is ok to say "I don't know that yet".
I learnt more from traveling than I ever did at school. Please travel (preferably before you have a partner or kids). See the world, eat the food, travel by yourself sometimes, learn to be ok in your own company, see how other people live, meet people, learn how fortunate we are to live in a place like Australia.
8. Don't care about what other people are doing or saying
Life is short. Most of the time when people have negative stuff to say, it has more to do with them and their experiences than it ever had to do with you.
9. Avoid black and white thinking
It is so tempting to have all or nothing thoughts (like is something right or wrong? good or bad? etc) but there is so much in between and grey in life. Often the truth is in the grey.
10. Be kind
Above all else you need to kind. Kind to others, kind to animals, kind to the planet and kind to yourself.
I will always have your back. I love you more than words could ever express. There is nothing that you can do that would make me stop loving you. You are your own beautiful person, you are on your own journey and I am lucky enough to be able to be a part of it. You will do great things.
Your tribe is here waiting for you. Join us now.