Success with ADD Comes More Easily with Support Systems
The first major transition in my life was our family move to Atlanta, Ga. from Cleveland, OH when I was ten years old. My mother said I cried half-way through the several day drive. I left behind my cousins and friends and everything I knew and felt comfortable around to arrive in the American South of 1963; it was a land of accents and heat and summer rain storms and incomparable natural beauty and racial discrimination. I believe I became a ‘problem’ for the first time, fighting and feeling left out. I did not transition well.
If you are moving your children to a new location;
- create immediate comfort with group play and sports organizations;
- create leadership opportunities;
- enroll your child in classes where he/she already excels for continued self-esteem.
Peer Groups are Important to Thrive with ADHD
My second major transition was to a public high school from a parochial school in our neighborhood. My mother was already driving my older sister in a carpool to her private Catholic high school and did not want to drive another (this was 1967 when driving was a limited activity and 20 minutes in each direction was an official outing), so I walked to the nearby public school. I did not transition well, feeling isolated among yet another new group of peers. I isolated myself further and appeared ‘shy’.
- If at all possible keep your child with his/her group of friends for high school
- Isolation is unhealthy – create an ongoing opportunity for your child to be involved in leadership training
- Just because your child is quiet and well-behaved does not mean he/she is happy – talk, talk, talk with your child about everything.
Start ADHD Coaching Before Leaving for College
The third major transition was to college in St. Louis where I had lots of family to visit and be comfortable around but it was a difficult transition as again all my ‘support systems’ of a few friends and the familiarity of my surroundings were gone along with any sense of being tethered. I was a wild child for a while and rue the day I was let loose without structure.
- Get your student a coach! Learning to live away from home is a skill – it’s not natural to be on your own since we are community beings.
- At the same time, your student needs to learn to self-motivate. A coach is a transition figure in your student’s life – the transition from your roof to being independent.
- You need independence, too! Get yourself a coach to transition you through the empty nest years.
I’ve since transitioned into the work world, marriage and motherhood, each with its challenges and happiness. I’m transitioning after divorce now, and I have discovered the same is true for all my transitions: Setting Goals and creating support relationships make my life work. I am now working with other entrepreneurs in a supportive group setting at New Tricks where we share our business goals, challenges and successes.
Life is More Fun with Support!
What works for you during transition?