I watched a great movie yesterday while I was home sick, Phoebe in Wonderland. I’m telling you about it because I think it is relevant to how we as parents of kids who have issues look at the world. I also think this is one you might have missed because I don’t think the publicity about the film really did justice to what it was all about.
I thought it was going to be a light hearted film about a child who doesn’t quite fit in. It was actually a much deeper exploration of a child who was really struggling with a real diagnosis. (A real diagnosis that I won’t spoil, though it is not a huge surprise in the end.) In large part the movie was also about her mother’s journey though accepting this. I’ll let you watch the movie and see how it turns out.
I will say that even though this girl’s issue wasn’t ADHD, it reminded me very much of how some parents struggle to handle a child who has a something that has a real name. There’s not just “spirited, energetic, march to the beat of their own drum, day dreamy, adorably absent minded, imaginative, etc.” They may be some of these things, but if they have ADHD too, it needs to be addressed in order for them to be the best whateverthey are that they can be.
I guess my take away here is that as parents we can’t get caught up in our own conceptions of what we want our children to be or how that may reflect on us a parents. We have to recognize who they really are and love them for that, warts and all. And, we simply have to take advantage of everything we can to help our children, which by definition means admitting that they need help. And, that usually means admitting that we need help helping them too. Ultimately, seeking out and accepting they help they need is what says the most about us as parents and as people.