Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, which includes both hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive presentation, is often described as a cluster of symptoms that can range from challenges with focus, memory, and staying on task, to a need to expend energy through fidgeting, impulsiveness, and movement of the body.
ADHD is one of the most studied childhood disorders, but science has not been able to identify a definitive cause or a cure.
Through my spiritual work, I have come to understand that children with ADHD are often extremely sensitive and highly intuitive. They are born with a “knowing” and intuitively feel aligned with the flow of unconditional love. As they grow and become more aware of differing energy, they begin to notice incongruence between the energy of who they really are and the energy of the world around them. As they have more experiences with this incongruence of energy, they begin to perceive life as confusing and contradictory. When these children cannot process information in a way that makes sense, they begin to stop trusting their gift of “knowing”. When they stop trusting their instincts, repressed creative energy, repressed emotional expression, and pressure to conform ensues.
Over time, the symptoms of ADHD begin to develop, usually before the age of 5.
While we may never be able to pinpoint what perceptions or experiences trigger the symptoms of ADHD in these highly sensitive children, we do need to remember that parents and caregivers have the most profound impact on the life of a child. We are their mentors and their role models and we are the people they rely upon to get their needs met.
Since we have the most influence on the life of a child with ADHD, we can support them by employing the following strategies:
Model the behaviors we want our children to learn.
Managing the symptoms of ADHD can be frustrating for both children and adults. In general, children with ADHD receive a great deal of criticism often related to behavior or school performance. It is time for a paradigm shift. When we decide to let go of our negative emotions, focus on the goals of the present moment, and model the behaviors we want our children to learn, we will see improvement.
Understand that children are trying to get their needs met.
All human behavior is motivated by a desire to get our needs met. The more we can help our children get their needs met in positive ways, the better they will feel. When children feel better, they naturally desire to make positive changes.
Engage in constructive communication.
Each time we interact with our children, the way we communicate either enhances or erodes our relationship. Using positive communication techniques helps to build mutual trust and teaches children how to express themselves in constructive ways.
Assist children in building a positive self-image.
Because children with ADHD receive so much negative feedback, they often develop a highly critical inner voice or a competitor to who they really are. Adults can support children by teaching affirmative dialogue and encouraging children to give themselves credit. As children learn to believe in themselves and shift negative perceptions, they become open to seeing themselves in a different way.
Tie experiences to a new mindset.
In order to help children believe in their possibilities, they must be able to tie experiences with a new mindset, acknowledging progress, growth, and skill building. Parents can support children by helping them develop realistic goals, creating structured plans, and guiding children to feel good about the effort.
Inspire children to embrace a mindset of love, not fear.
The more children with ADHD can align themselves with who they really are or the energy of unconditional love, the more their symptoms will dissipate. Because each child with ADHD is unique, the road to aligning with who they really are may also be unique. Adults can play games, create exercises, or use real world experiences that encourage freedom of expression, creativity, independent thinking and assertiveness, and strengthening relationships.
I believe that in essence, children with ADHD are “healers.” It is human nature to move in the same direction until a roadblock or problem motivates us to choose a different path. Often, we parent based on our own personal experiences and we use traditional teaching methods in schools. Children with ADHD are leading us to see new ways of parenting, teaching, and coaching. The more we learn to act from a place of love and let go of our attachments to how we think life is supposed to be, the more we help them find their way. As we help them, they are helping to heal us and release us from our “ailing” thinking.
Love does heal.