With ADHD You Have to See With Your Heart

In the story of the Little Prince, the fox tells the little prince a secret.  The fox's secret is this: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eyes."  I think about the fox's secret a lot.  What you often see with the naked eye in people with inattentive ADHD or any ADHD, for that matter, is someone who appears lacking in their full potential.

If you look at your ADD children with your heart you know that they are so much better than they appear. If you look at your ADHD self with your heart. You know that you too are so much better than you appear.  I think it is important for us to remember the fox's secret because our self esteem and the self esteem of our children depend on it.

My heart tells me that my inattentive son is kind, smart, funny, creative and great company. It also tells me that he is quite OK with who he is but my naked eyes see things in him that are hard to watch.  His difficulty socializing is probably the biggest problem I see and I wish that there was some way to help  him with this.  I feel that this is more my problem than his and I need to put that aside and appreciate him for who he is.

My younger Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD son, to the naked eye is a crazed child.  He is so hyper and so impulsive that he can sometimes be impossibly hard to be around.  The medicine does not always help and I am sad that what most people see in him is not what my heart sees.  My heart sees a young strong boy who is a go getter, creative, funny, helpful, generous, and good hearted.  He too is fine with who he is.

Seeing my hyperactive/impulsive son as his best self is not always easy.  It can, in fact, be downright hard.  When he is tearing through our souls with all his might and  bouncing off or walls all we do is to try to maintain our sanity and limit the collateral damage.  None the less, trying always to see him, as he really is, is probably a skill worth pursuing.


  1. I love this....you brought me to tears because you describe my son who is innattentive so completely. He too is OK with himself. But, socializing is his biggest problem. Though he did make a great best friend this year in school. But there will always be the "cool" boys who upset me. It broke my heart at a party at lazer kingdom last night. It was a party for a boy in his class who invited 30 boys. My son got scared of the movie before,cried, and quietly told me he was scared so I took him to the bathroom to help him through this. He ended up having a great time playing lazer tag but at the end the boy who had the birthday party said goodbye to kids around my son and my son said "bye Jake" 3 times and the kid ignored him. It upset me. My son shrugged it off but I couldnt. Little things like this break my heart for him. I know he has a couple of good friends but there are so many bullys in his grade that will make mince meat out of him eventually. But what really makes me angry is the moms who look at you like "you poor thing". I started to feel embarrassed but my embarrasement quickly turned and I held my head higher when I walked passed them with my son because I am proud of him and no one will take that away from me. My son is not a bully and never will be. Too bad some ignorant moms and sons cannot see the good, kind, smart, funny, best friend material in my son. All I can say is they will miss out on knowing great children who really will make the greatest, life long best friend for someone.

  2. Thanks so much for your note. It is so hard as a parent to watch other kids reject them or ignore them or despise them. I say to myself almost daily, "If they know their family thinks that they are special, that will be enough." So I feel that it is our job to enjoy them and take the stance that the others simply are missing out on what we know are the great traits in our kids. Our kids,in turn, will be gentler, kinder and stronger as a result and that is not a bad thing even if the process is (at least from the parents perspective) a painful one.

  3. Hi Tessermom, (this is long, sorry!)

    I started reading your blog b/c I suspected she was PI at first but recently confirmed with child psych. the C diagnosis. There have been several things I have read here that have been insightful to me and I will continue reading to get some help with her innatentive symptoms.

    I am having a very, very hard week with my 7 year old daughter who has ADHD-Combined type. (It's always worse when I am battling hormones and my own ADHD-PI!) Last week we started swim team practice and I don't know if either of us can handle the stress this year (it's our second year). She loved it last year and made progress with her strokes, even winning lots of ribbons in her age group (not the point but it gave her confidence). This year, she is very easily agitated by other swimmers splashing her (accidentally….it’s a pool for heaven’s sake) and complains about always having to go last when practicing, etc., etc.

    The thing is she is WORSE at the technical aspects of swimming than last year. Maybe because she has moved up to the 7&8 year olds group and is noticeably less coordinated and much slower than these kids. It’s killing me to see her lose focus halfway down the pool and start to play around. Not to mention her pitiful attempt at the strokes. Maybe that is just the best she can do right now? Your post reminds me that I need to be her biggest fan and accept her just as she is. It’s hard right now.

    Do you have any advice about whether I should make her stick it out on the swim team since it is the beginning of the season (it lasts only until mid-July). I want her to learn to challenge herself but don’t want to end up hating it, either. She isn’t having fun at this point (never does when she is “made” to do anything!) Part of my frustration is that I know a lot of people on the team from church and school and I am soooo tired of having the kid who is “not good” at anything. She was recently diagnosed so no one knows the whole story. No one is making comments about her; the team is laid back and wants to help the kids enjoy it. I wish I could let go and do just that…..

    We will be starting her on her first med soon, so maybe that will help her be able to focus on her coordination and be less annoyed by the other kids. It was also recommended by the psychologist to keep exposing her to social situations as learning opportunities. This could be a good test of whether the med is helping with that. Sigh!

    Sorry so long, this was therapeutic for me but if you have any suggestions that would be great, too! Thanks again for your blog!

  4. The medication is going to help lots and if the swim stuff is in the morning while her meds are on board you will see that all the other complaining will stop and she will enjoy herself until the meds wear off.

    My hyperactive/impulsive son is much as you describe your daughter to be. Un-medicated EVERYTHING is terrible. Medicated everything is bearable and sometimes even good.

    The exercise is sooooooo important. If she can stick to the swimming it will be really good for her. Exercise is a treatment in itself but with these kids getting them to do anything can be a real struggle. Do not go crazy! If she refuses to swim, let it go and try to get her active in another way.

    The whole social aspect is very stressful as well and we will deal with that, unfortunately, probably forever. I think we have to give them lots of love and support and hope that knowing that we see them at their best not at their worst when we think of them will carry them through. Thanks for your comments!

  5. This post touched me very much. It is not easy having ADD. Other people judge you for it and you can't control it.


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