We´re almost at the end of the school year. What can I say? For me, it´s been pretty rough. It´s a time when a lot of different feelings, thoughts and emotions come together in my heart and in my mind. I become an emotional merry-go-round. We, as parents of ADHD kids, know all too well that this is a particularly tough time for them as well as for us. It´s hard on them because they will again have to face the anxiety of taking exams; consequently foreshadowing failure and trying to delay pushing the panic button once again. For them, all of this brings to mind the uncertainty of their future plans: (summer equals having to study in order to re-take exams in September)… And for us, of course, there are many different reasons, which I really don´t need to mention right now… right?
How can we remain calm in a situation such as this? My proposal is that we go for the JOY alternative. I´ll explain why.:
JOY is a virtue; a value which gives us wings. In our happier moments, our inner strength is on a surge; our minds are more responsive and our comprehension is clearer. We feel more aware and able to face what is happening around us and it allows us to navigate in our sphere of influence.
Joy is not fun. Fun has to do with what is happening on the outside; joy comes from the inside. We are able to identity when we are happy because we feel we are doing what is right. Do we know when our child is happy? If we take a moment to “look inside” and discover that we feel happy, whatever job or task can become a positive experience. Happiness is the feeling inside which makes us capable of “getting back up” in difficult situations, even though we feel sad… We should take a moment and analyze this aspect. When our children are happy it´s probably because they feel that “everything is ok” but I really don´t think they are capable of consciously defining that they “are” indeed happy. However, we, as adults, have to decide whether we truly want to be happy and take a moment to search deep inside of ourselves and when we find it, we have to help it flourish so that it may help us in our day to day.
I have to stress (once again) the importance of being role models for our children; but this time it´s for the following reason: without happiness (the one on the inside), all our feelings are determined by what happens to us on the outside. What I mean is, at times we may feel absent or distracted; we project this on others around us in the form of pain or pleasure and it is caused by what happens on the outside. Without happiness, the fun stops. Without happiness, our feelings of sadness become deeper and deeper.
Just because we are happy doesn´t mean that bad things and good things stop happening to us. But, if we are really happy deep inside, we are able to remain calm and carry on. When good things happen to us, we are happy and our feelings of happiness last longer. When we are hurt, we naturally feel sad. If we are able to resort to our happiness, the feelings of sadness will become less and less recurrent. They will begin to just come and go.
I could just go on and on about the theory of happiness…but concluding on a personal note, I would have to say, that for me, JOY is key. If something bad should happen to me, I wouldn´t want to become so stuck in all of those negative feelings (maybe the intelligent ones, but nonetheless negative….ha ha) that I wasn´t able learn something from the experience.
If we think on our children, it would be a good idea to focus on those moments that we see them at their happiest; by talking to them and helping them see (in different ways, of course, according to their age) the difference happiness is reflected in their body language, in their use of verbal language ( happy words: these they should use more often) and on the power that their happiness can have on those around them. This can be a useful tool in their development and a breath of fresh air for their self-esteem together with family gatherings.
Let’s live JOY!