Watching my child struggle in this new online learning environment is heartbreaking.
My 6-year-old has recently been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (AHHD) and I see it now more than ever. We sought out professional help because his behavior had become days filled with anger defiance and retaliation. He was distraught at the drop of a hat. We would ask him to feed the dog and his anger would fly from zero to a hundred with no warning. My husband and I were at a loss. So we asked for help. We started with the school guidance counselor and his teacher and finally a play therapist. We asked every parent and adult we thought could give us insight on how to parent such a sensitive child. We finally found a friend who recommended we take our sweet sensitive boy to Dell Children’s Behavioral and Health center. Thank God.
Our doctor has been so amazing. He is a talker, an explainer, a man who loves a metaphor. He is my kind of teacher. And he is teaching me about my son. My sweet almost 7-year-old boy scored 9 out of 9 on the scale for inattentiveness. Nine out of nine. Devin has trouble staying still, paying attention, being in the moment. He is constantly falling, dropping things, tripping, and hurting himself. He CAN NOT sit still. And now in this new normal, he is expected to learn using online materials. But he CAN NOT focus. He cannot sit still. He cannot keep his attention on the assignment. He definitely cannot manage the new online video conference learning. So the storm brews in our house brews.
I want him to learn
I want him to learn. My husband is demanding focus. Devin is constantly falling out of his chair and dropping his pencil while his tutor is on Zoom asking him to look at his worksheet and read. There is so much tension and hurt feelings and lost expectations occurring in the moment. We are setting him up for failure and I don’t know how to make it better. I am frustrated and sad. He is angry and bitter.
How do we improve this for him? How do we improve the entire system? If we are struggling in a two-parent home where both adults work in education, I can only imagine the struggle and feelings happening in the rest of the homes around the world.
I am glad today for the ADHD diagnosis. It has granted me greater patience and understanding with my child. It has given me perspective and allowed me to see the struggle from his point of view. We are looking for solutions. All of us are; his dad, his tutor, my best friend, my neighbor, my online community, our village.
The new norm is hard for parents. But I think it’s actually harder on our kids.