Children are full of energy, excitement and curiosity. When a baby is born, is growing and developing, it has an innate curiosity to discover how the world works and to learn about all the amazing things that makeup the world around them. Babies are curious about their surroundings and through this curiosity they learn about the world around them. They learn to crawl and walk from their desire to explore and learn about their surroundings. Do we give them specific instructions and how to crawl or walk or do they just do it? Do we demonstrate how to eat or do we let them explore and discover what works and what does not work? Children are natural learners. From birth to 5 years old the developmental steps they make are enormous. They learn as naturally as they breathe. Kids jump from one thing to the other: they touch, smell, feel, taste, to learn about their surroundings.
When a child enters school there is a whole new set of expectations. In school there is more structure to their day, less time to explore and test out their environment and more direction given by an adult. We take the highly curious child and we often require them to sit for long periods of time and fit into a system of education that does not allow for the creativity of children to be expanded.
Children who are highly active, curious, energetic and creative are often labeled ADD/ADHD. Is it really a disability of is it an ability that we have labeled a disability? What if children labeled with ADD/ADHD are really just children that don’t fit in the structure of our schools? Do you have a child who is labeled ADD? Are they very bright? Are they curious, active, aware, energetic and thoughtful? Is this really a disability?
What if the label does not allow us to see the truth of our child? What if the label shuts down the possibility of seeing the gift that these children are? And what if by letting go of the label we would allow the space for a different possibility?
Did you ever know when someone was mad even though they didn’t tell you? Did you ever know that a person was saying something different than what they actually were thinking or feeling? Did you ever walk in a room and feel the tension? That’s because we are aware beings. Children with ADD/ADHD are actually very aware beings and are picking up the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others? Would that cause them to be very distracted and unable to focus? Of course! So if they’re picking up the thoughts and feelings of others wouldn’t it make sense that they are picking up all the points of view about their disability too? How does that then affect behavior?
So what can we do to change this? Acknowledging that many of the thoughts, feeling, and emotions the child is picking up are not theirs will allow huge relief. You can ask your child to describe what is going on in their head. Do they have lot of chatter in their head? Are they hearing sounds very loudly? Do they hear things that we don’t hear? Then teach them to ask, “is this thought or feeling mine or someone else?”
Another amazing tool to get rid of head chatter is a process using light touch on the head called the “bars”. By lightly touching a series of points on the head you begin to release the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that get in the way of having the space to pay attention and stay on task. Go to bars.accessconsciousness.com for more information about the “bars”.
Here is an exercise you can try with your ADD/ADHD child. Have your child lay down on the couch with their head on a pillow. Sit behind their head and put four fingers behind each ear. Find the bony ridge behind the ear with your fingers and then slide your fingers toward the back of the head until you find the valley behind the bony ridge. Hold your fingers in this spot for a few minutes (as long as your child will allow) and notice the results. It is a very calming exercise to use before homework, during an upset, or the night before a test to improve scores.