Can Should’s Be Good

ADHD is Not a Curse

(Part 2/3)

Let me introduce you to someone very special…

In Part 3 next week, we’re going to unpack how my son helped me to see that sometimes, our should’s are really useful and important and, just like the ‘negative emotions’ that culture tells us are bad and to avoid, how we can use them to get to our dreams and create powerful Pivot Points in our world…

… but first I need you to know a little bit more about my youngest for this to all make sense.

Okay, so here’s what you need to know about my son: he’s different. He’s special. He’s got off-the-charts ADHD and multiple learning delays and since we met over 10 years ago (he was 8), it has been a journey to figure out how to manage the downsides of everything going on in his neurology while maximizing the gifts.

(and, yes, he’s okay with me talking about it. in fact, he’s been bugging me to get on it already and write about this because he believes that if his stories can help even one more person, then they need to be shared. he’s pretty cool that way.)

The Need for Structure + Consistency

We butt heads a lot. I like structure and routine and predictability. He desperately needs those things (as do we all but especially those of us on the spectrum) but resents the heck out of them. He has a lot of impulsivity and you can imagine how that smacks up against my need for order.

I suppose the other big thing is that, being where he is on the spectrum, he’s very literal. And very into TV. Like, it was not only an escape from an overwhelming world, but it was also more real to him than real life. It made more sense and he spent more time with his favourite TV characters than with us.

Learning to live with a child with ADHD.

Which meant that, for the last decade, I’ve neatly filled the role of evil step-mother because, y’know, the step-mom is always evil, right? 

Yeah. It’s been tough. And I don’t talk about it a lot because… well, because we’re still not throughit, y’know. We’re still learning the lessons and gaining the wisdom.

There was a lot I did in those early years that did not work. I had to learn very quickly how to ‘mom’. For sure, I made some mistakes. But there have also been some glorious victories.

And, over the years, as I’ve relaxed and discerned what is necessary and what is just being an authoritarian jerk – and as I’ve dealt with my own fears around safety and control – things have definitely gotten smoother.

But… but, last August, our youngest came to live with us here on the coast. This was after failing out of first year college and having his mom kick him out.

The Desperate ‘Hail Mary’ Pass

We were his desperate ‘Hail Mary’ pass to try and turn things around.

It was also an answer to our prayers. Literally. Just two or three weeks earlier, we’d been having lunch with family who were passing through, and I said to them, “I just wish that he was here so we could help him. I see him going off the rails and there’s nothing we can do with him so far away…”

And then a week later – seriously! just a week! – we got the phone call.

(it’s good to be powerful and fun to live in Divine Alignment, y’know?)

And it has worked. Him being here.

Really well.

He’s lost weight, is working full-time at a place where they adore him, got his license, and now he’s driving himself back and forth to work every day.

It. has. worked. Momma, there is hope if you’re struggling. He’s 19 now, and while, yeah, he’s still a few years behind, in a decade that’s not going to matter at all. 

He’s adulting. And he’s adulting better than most adults.

There Are Gifts in the Struggle

Because that’s one of his gifts. Being on the spectrum has both, y’know, downsides and gifts.

And one of his many gifts is that once he gets something, he nails it. Permanently. It’s hard-wired.

So, it’s still been tough since he got here. We’ve had a lot of big conversations about expectations and reality and how to succeed. We’ve all been listening to a lot of Jim Rohn.

(I still yell at him to clean up his dang room.)

But, it’s working. He’s succeeding.

Why? Why is it working?

Well, I think the big reason that it has worked is that he’s started to change his ‘shoulds’ into ‘wants’.

We’ll talk about that more next week in Part 3.

You’re here to change the world and we’re here to help.

You’ve got this.

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It makes life so much easier. 😍

Learning to live with an ADHD child.

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