Do you ever think about what your kids must be thinking? We all tend to put words into their mouths – what we wish they were thinking. But the truth is, if we ever really listened to what they are trying to say with their eyes, or their body-language, or their one or two word answers, we might be surprised at how wise they really are.
Recently, I had a middle-of-the-night inspiration when I gained some clarity about what it must be like to live inside the brains of my children. I am sharing that insight with you here—an imagined letter from all of my kids, at every age and stage, all rolled into one voice. Go with me. I think you’ll find it useful.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m glad you helped me give a name to all the things that make me feel so different from other kids – ADD, or is it ADHD? I’m trying to understand it, but it seems a little strange. Isn’t this how everyone thinks?
Sometimes it feels so strange to be me. I know you get frustrated with me. I don’t blame you. So do I.
It would be nice, if you could try to remember that I’m not doing things on purpose just to make you crazy – at least, most of the time I’m not. 🙂 A lot of times, when you get annoyed with me, I think it might be because of my ADHD.
- Like when my thoughts are racing and they go so fast I can’t seem to capture any of them. They’re there – I promise – but they fly away so quickly. I wish I could remember some of them. That way, when you ask what I think about something, I’d remember what I thought, and not just stare at you.
- Or like when I put something down without noticing, so then I can’t find it when I want it.
- Or when you send me to my room to get my socks and I get to my room and see something else and then I forget I was supposed to be getting socks.
- Or when I forget what you taught me and I yell at my sister before I take 3 breaths.
- Or when I act like I didn’t do anything wrong cause I feel so bad about it that I’m too embarrassed to admit it.
- Or when I study for a test, and I think I really know it, and then I get into the test and my mind goes completely blank.
- Or when I forget to turn in my homework (for three weeks!)
- Or when I can’t help saying something that pops into my mind because it’s really funny, before I remember that it’s probably not a good time.
- Or when I don’t stop talking.
- Or when I forget to talk out loud and think that you can hear the thoughts in my head.
- Or when I get an idea and I’m really excited and I can’t help from focusing on it, even though I’m supposed to be doing something else.
- Or when I get really upset and I’m not even sure why, but something just really hurts or feels scary and I can’t explain it.
I know you know more about my ADHD than I do, but I just wanted you to know what it feels like from the inside. When you roll your eyes or make sarcastic comments, it hurts my feelings.
But I really like it when you make a joke and pretend its no big deal. THAT helps a lot. And when you tell me when I do something right, I can’t tell you how great that makes me feel.
Cause I hate messing up all the time. I feel bad enough already.
So, as I said, I know that I make you mad and frustrated sometimes. Me, too. But I hope you know that I’m trying really hard. I really want to be good. But sometimes, I just don’t have as much control as you think I should – or as I wish I did. I’m getting better, though. At least I think I am. Anyway, sometimes I just want to know that you know I’m trying. Does that make sense?
Well, that’s all for now — my ADHD brain from the inside out.
I love you,
Your Loving Child
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