Sometimes 'ADHD' Is Just Kids Being Kids

adhd diagnosisAs we headed to our 15th parent/teacher conference in our daughter's young life, I turned to my husband and asked, "What is it parents and teachers are trying to prevent these days with all of this communication?" I wondered if we would be told that my 6-year-old had ADHD, because she finds it challenging to sit down. Or maybe her lack of concentration was due to the fact that I occasionally use the drive-thru as dinner. Either way, we knew listening was a problem and wondered if we were about to be told to get a therapist and/or a prescription.

There are a million things I worry about that neither my parents nor my teachers gave two seconds of consideration "back in the day." And now this over-attention has possibly led to a huge number of kids with an ADHD diagnosis. Kids that are simply younger than the rest of their classmates and not in the same place developmentally as the ones that have a jump on growing and stuff.

How did we get here?

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Listen, I know that latch key kids of my generation did not have it better than my own kids who get swooped up in a car pool lane. I know that, as a Generation X kid, I can join in the multitude of kids who keenly felt that generation gap every time we tried to explain why we needed to go to the skating rink carrying our boom box pumping out Madonna. Sure I wish my own parents "got me," but when did my need to feel more connected with my kids turn into a full-blown shift in the way schools and parents interact?

As involved parents, we love hearing about every detail of our child's day. I'm guilty of this as well. But at some point, we need to all back off and let our kids simply be. Without checking in with the teacher multiple times per semester. Without creating a diagnosis where none should be.

Of course there are children with ADHD, and early intervention is key. But putting a label on a kid who maybe just needs to be 8 years old instead of 7-and-a-half to compete, well, that's crazy. Maybe we could all back off a little and let kids be kids? Yes?

Does your kid have ADHD? Are you sure?

 

Image via Michael 1952/Flickr

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