This morning I woke up and remembered a child I used to care for on occasion. His mother was 55 and he was a change of life baby and extreme ADHD. I got stressed because in my anxiety I had a memory fog where I couldn’t remember what happened to him. But I did remember. His dad ended up taking custody and he’s living happily with him.
His mother couldn’t cope very well but me being me I’d let him sit with me when I went to pizza shop for dinner and we would chat and he soon ended up presenting himself to my house around the corner. His mother started to send him to me when she couldn’t deal with him. Sometimes it was 7am before school sometimes it was during the day and sometimes at night.
I read the situation and went okay, this kid is 10, he really wants and needs some attention as well, okay, LETS DO SOME COOL SHIT. If you have activities set up and willing to teach crafts it’s quite easy to look after ADHD kids for a day, easier than people make it seem anyway. Put a show on that’s got short episodes, after an episode you do a craft till they lose focus, if at all because sometimes they become hyperfocused on learning that new thing till it’s perfect. Next head outside, find a park or a pool nearby. Rope another neighbourhood kid into play dates. Easy peasy, the shop owners kid would sit with us occasionally for dinner so he also needed some attention as his parents were busy running a business. Buy a blow up pool and offer to take the kids for an arvo. Just do stuff with them, answer their millions of questions to the best of your ability or research the answer together. Often this kid was fine sitting down to watch a movie, sure he talked alot but he was calmer because his presence wasn’t being taken for granted and he felt valued.
Eventually his father took custody and that was the end of that. The other kid was a bit lonely but found new friends fast.
Turns out I’ve taken in a few kids under my wing. 4 so far and a legal adult with a younger mentality. Usually in the interim between a change in custody. But sometimes it’s just because I notice a lack of attention to the child. Sometimes that’s not on purpose but I think us as adults can do better. I think overall I’ve noticed the need for community. The need to go back to the days when parents were in charge of discipline and the most care and love but overall raising of the children with care, love and wisdom was a community effort. When that happens the child always has someone to talk to and gain much needed attention from.
To be fair I’ve not got children of my own, and this is my own opinion. But just a thought.