There are competing agendas out there within the professional realms that I operate.
On one hand there are the parents and the schools trying to get a segment of the population (ADHD boys) to get on track and be connected to the mandated curriculum. Within that realm there is anxiety aplenty. Parents get messages like, “Your child, Max, is not paying attention enough.” “Jake’s easily distracted and not taking responsibility for his own learning.” “Ethan isn’t serious enough about managing his homework.”
These are classic statements heard by the group of parents who are understandably anxious about what is happening in school and at home with their child. Having consulted with an array of specialists to bring about changes to get their child more organized, focused and on track, they feel overwhelmed and bewildered.
Competing with the parent/teacher agendas are the boys of concern.
This week I had a parade of them, ranging from 6 to 9 years of age. You could see what was happening pretty quickly. Things like worksheets, reading and writing are not on their agenda. More importantly and front and center are “Zombie Pigs” and “Rock People.”
I know this because when young Max, age 7, was asked to draw a picture for me he launched into an elaborate discussion of the interaction of the “Zombie Pigs” who were battling it out with the “Rock People” who were throwing boulders down from the cliff to ward off the attacking Zombie Pigs. The excited discussion and drawing went on for about 25 minutes. I have to admit. I was thoroughly charmed and entertained by Max’s elaborate explanation of his drawing.
Following Max was young Ethan. When I asked Ethan to draw a picture of a house a tree and a person, he quickly answered in excited tones, “Can I draw aliens in the picture?” “Sure,” I said. “Have fun…go to town.” Off Ethan went down alien trail. Aliens were coming in on the house, the tree and the person from every direction.
So, there you have it – the competing agenda of Zombie Pigs and Aliens, as opposed to getting your work done and paying attention.
It’s a dance that plays out day in and day out.
It’s going to take a long time for your boy to not be overly preoccupied by Zombie Pigs and aliens. This sort of thing has a lot more pull than the state curriculum. Might as well put your feet up and enjoy the ride.
Read more posts by Richard Selznick, Ph.D., nationally certified school psychologist. Dr. Selznick is a blogger for JenningsWire.