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 overly distractible 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.
I am grateful for this information. When my son, now in his 40s, was in school he was told over and over that he needed to apply himself. School was no help until he entered a very structured private school. I now care for a 8 year old who’s home live is one crisis after another. She is attending her third school this year. Although she is in second grade she is no further along than a beginner first grader. Her parents are far too dysfunctional to be of any help. I see her on the weekends and we play outside on my farm as much as possible. She is much better here than in any other environment. I appreciate any thoughts on what I can do to help her in the limited time she is with me is greatly appreciated. Thank you so very much.
I think I would encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. I would think having a refuge like a farm to play and be outside is wonderful for him
These boys might enjoy math story problems that feature zombie pig conflicts. How many sandwiches to feed lunches to an army of 1200 for a week? (multiplication) How many pies, if each soldier gets 1/6 of a pie? (fractions) How much of the army remains after 65 die in conflict, 15 die of disease, and eight desert? (subtraction)
Pop culture has a long reach. Our resident four-year-old is obsessed with Star Wars. Never mind that he has never seen any of the movies and doesn’t know the story. A cousin told him it’s the best thing ever, so he can’t stop talking about it.
Why can’t we multiply you out there so there can be Jeanne’s in every locale!!!!
Hope you and the family are well.