My son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when he was in kindergarten. Looking back, I wish I would have explored other holistic routes first rather than choosing medication. As a young, 20-year-old parent, I did exactly what his pediatrician recommended.
Flash forward 5 years and he is still on medication.
We tried taking him off a few times to see how he would handle it, but it just didn’t work out. This was especially evident when we stopped medicating him at the beginning of one school year, and he just wasn’t thriving like he had in the past.
Here is a free tip from me to you that I learned along this ADHD journey. Your kid isn’t going to outgrow their ADHD and if it isn’t treated it will haunt them into adulthood.
How ADHD Affects My Son
ADHD is a mental disorder that causes children to display impulsive, hyper and at time uncontrollable behavior. My son struggled last year in school and would tell me, “mom I feel like I can’t control myself.”
I received phone calls from his teacher at least every other week about his behavior. On one occasion his teacher contacted me because he was standing up in his chair spraying a can of deodorant around the classroom. I’ve had numerous meetings with his teacher and the administration monthly (or more) because of his disruptiveness, and he was put on a behavior plan. He is definitely what I would call a “class clown,” but that doesn’t excuse his actions.
Over the years I have tried to keep him in extracurricular activities as an outlet for all his extra energy. He has played baseball every spring since kindergarten. Although he enjoys sports, it has never been enough to curb the behaviors that are part of ADHD.
The Difference Boy Scouts Has Made in My Son’s Life
This past fall I asked him if he would like to try Boy Scouts. He said yes, so in August I enrolled him in our local troop. He is in 5th grade so technically he is still what is called a “Webelo” until next month when he officially crosses over into Boy Scouts. In order to move to this stage you have to complete a certain number of badges, and since he joined so close to the typical crossover age, there was a lot of catching up to do. But he dedicated himself and we worked on badges at home. I even had the privilege of teaching his First Aid class.
My son LOVES Boy Scouts, and it has made such a huge difference in his life and how we attempt to correct his behavior. When he came home from his first evening of scouts, he learned about the Boy Scout Law which states “a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
My questions for this new year at school immediately changed to:
How can you be obedient and kind if you are being disrespectful to your teacher?
How are you being clean if you complain about taking a shower and don’t rinse your plate off after dinner?
How are you being trustworthy if you say that you don’t have any homework when you actually do?
Today, February 8, is Boy Scout Day, and I’m so thankful for all this organization does to make a difference in the lives of individuals like my son. Learning to abide by the Boy Scout Law has not only helped him at school with his behavior and grades, but I have seen a significant improvement in his behavior at home. The change I have seen in him is absolutely amazing. He is a talented, sweet and funny young man who I am proud to call him mine.