I thought I posted this two weeks ago, but I guess it helps if I press the “publish” button when I am done. (Oops.) In any case, just wanting to wish Mr. Big Boy #2 a wonderful and Happy Birthday! We did not take a picture of the cake that his brothers made for him today, but here is the picture of his Tu B’Shevat cake.
Last time I wrote a blog regarding putting children in boxes – making all people “the same.” I definitely could have written so much more, but that would have taken a book to write it all down. However, it was a starting point and something that was asking for comments. Comments are great for they get everyone thinking. I find that good comments help me think and really get my thoughts out better. I did have one person write me, and I am going to try to summarize their email as well as my response back.
This person was saying that change is not always a bad thing. One of her children is on medication and he feels so much better. Before, he had so many thoughts roaming around his head that he could not think properly, nor comprehend others properly for his thoughts kept getting in his way. Now, he feels in control of himself and is able to make appropriate decisions. He feels very happy with himself now.
As for school and a box, well, 100% agreement on that. And, no, it’s not the number of kids. It’s what the teachers are given to work with. If a child misbehaves, they cannot tell them no or that they are doing something bad. They must be ‘redirected’. So, they never learn, and the teacher has no teeth. Kids act up in class and there are no consequences. An ADHD kid may not always control their actions, but cannot be given a free pass. They need to learn to control, they need to be given the tools to control.
Important things for all ADHD (and non) kids? Exercise, sleep, diet. People were not made to sit for hours at a time. Change school – these kids are not farming anymore. They should be spending a full day in school. They should have a decent break between classes. They should be forced to move. They should have a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. They should have time to work on schoolwork during the day in case they have questions. They should have a minimal amount to take home to teach them how to use their time.
No, this does not work for every kid, but would certainly work a lot better than what we have now!
Now, here is my response:
As I mentioned, there is a time and a place for medicines, and there is absolutely no way I can comment on your son. There are children that should be on medicines, BUT I feel the percentage is rather low.
So, why are there so many people on medicines now? I think the answer is rather simple (though doing something about is not.) You hit the nail on the spot – not that long ago we were all moving around a LOT – farming, etc. It reminds me a lot of pit bulls. Pit bulls have gotten a bad rap for hurting people. Pit bulls are not meant to be cooped up in a city life, they NEED to be running around in a field/meadow/farm, etc. They have so much energy that in a city life it just builds up and without the ability to release it, they snap.
We all need to move around and exercise. We never had to make time to exercise until we stopped farming – not that not being on a farm is a bad thing. Children need to move around, and boys in general usually need more. When we take a child that just has so much energy and make them sit still for 6-7 hours a day, they can’t cope and they “snap” and interrupt and disturb the classroom.
I have heard of the following kind of classroom (not sure where this classroom is except that it is in the US):
They split boys and girls up for girls and boys learn differently. Not sure what they do for the girls, and it might be a boys only school, but especially for the boys, they make them move around on a very regular basis, for example, every 10 minutes or so they move seats. The learning style is more physical and active, not just worksheets. Yes, worksheets are easy, but not always the best way to do something. With the constant movement, the boys are able to control themselves for they are able to release it all. Yes, you are still going to come across a boy once in a while who needs more or something else in addition, but you won’t need to give it to that many.
And no, I am not doing this very well, and I understand it. I am struggling to try to incorporate this into our learning, but at least I understand the need and hope to try harder at it.
And, not to mention that a lot of parents feel that kids should be seen but not heard and that does not help at all either!
So, the answer is to let kids be kids and understand the different learning abilities between girls and boys (btw, girls do well with the standard learning and they will usually do well with more of the “boy” style learning while boys can do the boy style learning but not nearly as well with the standard learning taught today,) and teach each according to their ways. 🙂