Friday, May 25, 2018

The Turnaround....

Most of my content comes from my personal life.  This post is definitely personal.  Something happened this week that caused me to really reflect on several things.  First, the background.  I have massive ADD.  When I was growing up, we were just the wild kids.  ADD was not something that was diagnosed or medicated.  I remember struggling to keep my focus and manage impulses.  This caused my first two or three years of school to be a struggle.  Then like magic, in the fourth grade, I learned how to manage the focus.  I learned how to control the impulses.  I was a straight A student from that point forward.  As an adult, I feel much of my success is based on the fact that I can see, hear, and process a ton of information.  It is the way my brain is wired.  I can have a full conversation with someone and hear two other conversations going on and still be present with the person I am talking to.  It is hard to explain.  Distractions are a part of every day life and my brain can segment out what is and is not a distraction while I am focused on a task.  In the end, I feel that ADD is a blessing.  A recent article from Inc. shares the 8 superpowersthat people with ADHD have.

This is all leading up to my son.  He also has ADD.  In the age that we are bringing him up, it is a common diagnosis and almost immediately everyone wanted to put him on medication.  My wife and I discussed this at great length.  I think to medicate is an individual decision and the results certainly vary case by case.  So if you are reading this and did decide to medicate an ADD child, this is not to call you out nor is this a post to advocate one or the other.  This was a personal decision.  Understanding the struggle, I worked with my son and tried to teach him what was happening with me and how I was able to control my focus.  

Just like me, my son struggled in school.  This year especially.  I was called in by the 5th grade teachers after the first nine weeks.  They all suggested that we take Remo to a doctor and get him medicated.  He was constantly getting into trouble and coming home with pink slips.  Again, my wife and I struggled with the decision of what to do.  I kept working with him and establishing routines so that he could learn the appropriate times for his mind to wander and times that require focus.  Then, in the middle of the second nine weeks, things just clicked in his brain.  You could see the routines get executed consistently and his confidence growing.  We started seeing less pink slips and saw his grades improving to A's and B's.

On Wednesday, I received a call from his teachers.  The end of the year celebration was happening and Remo had said he didn't want to go.  His teachers begged me to bring him to the school.  I quickly took my son to the event.  At the event, they were giving out awards for MVP student, most improved, etc.  Each teacher presented the awards to their class.  There was one award that was the only award voted by all the teachers.  They called it the "Rising Star" award that was the most prestigious to the teachers.  It described a student that they all felt in the beginning of the year was going to be the problem child.  Through the year, they watched him improve every aspect of his behavior and turn into a leader in the classroom.  They gave the award to my son.  He was absolutely beaming.  It was one of the proudest moments in our relationship.  He connected the dots of effort and sincerity to the award.  I couldn't agree more.

I wear many hats.  Entrepreneur, project manager, business owner, radio show host, and more.  The proudest hat I wear and the one that will create the greatest impact is that of father.  I lost my dad at 19 and my world has never been the same.  I cherish each day and interaction with my kids and seeing Remo accept that award created many emotions inside of me.  There is no manual that comes with your kids.  Recently when my daughter was having a rough time, I started looking through all of my books.  She asked what I was doing and I told her, "I am searching for the manual that came with you when you were born."  She said, "you don't know how to solve this?  I thought dad's knew everything!"  My daughter is 17.  I laughed and told her no, in fact I would let her in on a secret.  I have been making it up as we go along!  There is no manual and every child is different.

The blessings they bestow upon me far outweigh any of the issues that I deal with.  

No Day But Today,


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