Just like a gifted photographer gets to choose to focus on the petals of the wildflower rather than on the necessary drainage ditch three feet away, as parents we get to choose where we direct attention.
As parents of children with hidden disabilities, or really as parents of any child, we are not parenting behaviors— we are shepherding little hearts. Empathy and compassion come before correction and instruction. Even now, my 28-year-old is helping me to understand the impact of my own words on her, words I felt at the time needed to be spoken, but words that could have been spoken after recognition and acknowledgment of her very valid feelings. Her inability to process or choose appropriate behaviors at the time did not invalidate her feelings as a child!
Today a friend mentioned needing to house a family member for a season to relieve his parents from incessant triggering. There can be constant volatility when a teen is struggling with ADHD and perhaps other undiagnosed co-morbidities. The messaging behind “getting him out of the house” will need to be conveyed carefully.
Just like a gifted photographer gets to choose to focus on the petals of the wildflower rather than on the necessary drainage ditch three feet away, as parents we get to choose where we direct attention. We can highlight what is true in ways our children see their value, despite the challenges they face.
This boy has needs. His needs can be better accommodated for a season with fewer people around. The reprieve offers more space for his parents to pursue a better understanding of how he can be best accommodated for his future success. The message our children need to hear the loudest trumpets their value, whether as our babies or as the children of God.