Self-awareness in a child with ADHD is a relief and so helpful

I have been hearing about self-awareness and self-regulation and how important it is for ADHD management for some time now. Our therapist has been wanting to implement self-regulation with Luke, my 8-year-old with ADHD and learning disabilities, for over a year now. I’ve always had to tell her that he’s just not ready. He never seemed aware of his differences and when his behavior was a problem… until now.

Over the last couple months I’ve noticed that Luke is recognizing when a behavior is problematic or something he just can’t control.

If only self-awareness was as easy as
seeing their reflection in the mirror!

Just yesterday he seemed to have an epiphany of self-awareness. Luke got very angry with me after school. We had a parent meeting and he wanted to go to after care with some of his friends but I didn’t have any money on me to pay for it, so I asked him to stay with me at the meeting. He was very frustrated and felt helpless and began to melt down. It was a silent melt though — a lot of sulking and pushing me away but he wasn’t verbally aggressive, at least not until we got to into the car and were alone. He showed a lot of restraint and it is great progress over where we’ve been. So we got in the car and he started in on how mean I am and how I don’t let him do anything he wants to. I explained to him that I wish I had the money to let him do all the fun things he wants to experience but sometimes I have to make tough decisions due to our financial situation. I told him how much it hurts my feelings when he gets mad and mean toward me over something I can’t afford to let him do. After about five minutes he began to cry.

“I hate it when I’m mean to people. I’m so sorry Momma. I’m sorry I was mean to you. I hate it when I act like that,” he said.

I was astonished. And, of course, I cried. I felt sad for him that he can’t control this behavior sometimes. Sad that it makes him feel so sad. I was also grateful that he was aware of what had taken place though. It was very clear he is finally aware of his differences and his actions.

Another illustration of this is the fact that Luke has been telling me “please don’t try to change me” fairly frequently lately. If I ask him not to chew his fingers, or stay at the table for an entire meal, or to eat more at lunch, he’ll say, “stop trying to change me.”

The difference in his awareness just over the summer is profound. I am excited we are finally ready to start working on self-regulation with him. This is a step I have longed for. My ADHD kiddo is growing up!

What exercises, systems, etc do you implement to encourage self-regulation with your child with ADHD?

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Flickr YouTube 

Related posts:

NEWLY DIAGNOSED, parenting/FAMILY, Penny Williams ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

Leave a Comment

Self-awareness in a child with ADHD is a relief and so helpful

I have been hearing about self-awareness and self-regulation and how important it is for ADHD management for some time now. Our therapist has been wanting to implement self-regulation with Luke, my 8-year-old with ADHD and learning disabilities, for over a year now. I’ve always had to tell her that he’s just not ready. He never seemed aware of his differences and when his behavior was a problem… until now.

Over the last couple months I’ve noticed that Luke is recognizing when a behavior is problematic or something he just can’t control.

If only self-awareness was as easy as
seeing their reflection in the mirror!

Just yesterday he seemed to have an epiphany of self-awareness. Luke got very angry with me after school. We had a parent meeting and he wanted to go to after care with some of his friends but I didn’t have any money on me to pay for it, so I asked him to stay with me at the meeting. He was very frustrated and felt helpless and began to melt down. It was a silent melt though — a lot of sulking and pushing me away but he wasn’t verbally aggressive, at least not until we got to into the car and were alone. He showed a lot of restraint and it is great progress over where we’ve been. So we got in the car and he started in on how mean I am and how I don’t let him do anything he wants to. I explained to him that I wish I had the money to let him do all the fun things he wants to experience but sometimes I have to make tough decisions due to our financial situation. I told him how much it hurts my feelings when he gets mad and mean toward me over something I can’t afford to let him do. After about five minutes he began to cry.

“I hate it when I’m mean to people. I’m so sorry Momma. I’m sorry I was mean to you. I hate it when I act like that,” he said.

I was astonished. And, of course, I cried. I felt sad for him that he can’t control this behavior sometimes. Sad that it makes him feel so sad. I was also grateful that he was aware of what had taken place though. It was very clear he is finally aware of his differences and his actions.

Another illustration of this is the fact that Luke has been telling me “please don’t try to change me” fairly frequently lately. If I ask him not to chew his fingers, or stay at the table for an entire meal, or to eat more at lunch, he’ll say, “stop trying to change me.”

The difference in his awareness just over the summer is profound. I am excited we are finally ready to start working on self-regulation with him. This is a step I have longed for. My ADHD kiddo is growing up!

What exercises, systems, etc do you implement to encourage self-regulation with your child with ADHD?


Penny Williams is the creator and editor of {a mom’s view of ADHD}She is also a freelance writer, real estate broker, wife, and mother of two living in Asheville, N.C. She has published several pieces in ADDitude Magazine, the #1 national publication dedicated to ADHD, and has also been quoted in Parenting.com’s Family Health Guide on ADHD and The High Desert Pulse article, When Ritalin Works.  When not writing, she can usually be found behind a camera.

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Flickr YouTube 

Related posts:

impulse control, motivation, NEWLY DIAGNOSED, parenting/FAMILY, Penny Williams, self-awareness, self-regulation ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

Leave a Comment

The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

Powered by WordPress | Customized by KW Design