You probably know that a child who gets distracted is one that can’t focus and never sits still. Must be ADHD, right? Maybe not. In fact, that child probably has a gift you’re not aware of.
The Unique Energy In Each Child
Every child is born with a unique nature. In my work with children, I have discovered four distinct patterns of energy that children naturally express.
You’ve probably seen these patterns. Some children are naturally louder while others are more subdued. Some children need more social time while others want solitude.
I describe these different energies in four types. When you know which type of energy a child expresses, you know a lot about what makes them unique.
How Do The Four Types Relate To ADHD?
In my model of children’s behavior, the first of the four types expresses a light, random, unstructured energy. I call these Fun-Loving Type One children. They connect to the world socially and express the highest level of movement.
When placed in a highly structured environment (like school), their energy is often misunderstood. They are judged as unfocused and hyperactive. In short – ADHD.
What’s Really Going On?
In an effort to free themselves from too much structure, Fun-Loving Type One children become louder and more random than they naturally are. They do it to resist a structure that runs contrary to their nature.
The truth is, these children can focus (and they do), if given a more unstructured environment and hands-on learning experiences.
Why Is This A Gift?
All four types of children express natural gifts.
Fun-loving Type One children naturally bring out others playful energy and brighten our mood. They have brilliant minds that think quickly – so quickly that you assume they’re not focusing at all, but they are.
These children have a gift for having more ideas than they can accomplish. This can make them appear scattered. But if you appreciate their ideas and guide them in selecting which to pursue, you’ll support these children in expressing tremendous creative power.
The Other Three Types Of Children
I’ve only mentioned Fun-Loving Type One children. They are most likely to be misdiagnosed with ADHD. But the other three types of children are also important to understand.
The Sensitive Type Two
These children often adapt to a school structure. More subdued and comfort-oriented, they tend to go with the flow. They naturally bring peace. Their main challenge is worrying too much about details.
The Determined Type Three
Results-oriented, these children move swiftly through tasks. They also struggle with ADHD misdiagnosis, as they are usually ready to move to the next task before their classmates. They can experience the challenge of being misjudged as rambunctious or hyper.
The More Serious Type Four
With a more exact, analytical movement, these children either accept the school structure or reject it. They can naturally focus on one task for longer periods of time. They are sometimes misjudged as critical, but when honored for their nature, they are very respectful.
How We Wound Our Children
Many argue whether or not ADHD even exists. I am not taking one side or another.
I am, however, pointing out a trend that wounds our children – as we sometimes label children’s natural gifts as weaknesses because we do not understand them.
ADHD is just one example. Many children are only diagnosed with ADHD once they reach school. Isn’t that telling? We need to recognize that children without a disorder are being diagnosed with one.
In a school system and culture that demands a more focused, structured movement, children with naturally higher, disconnected energy are perceived as hyperactive. We need to reassess our perception of these children or we will continue to wound them by saying they are flawed.
An Invitation To Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Mentors
You may parent, teach, or work with children you perceive as too hyper, too shy, too rambunctious, or too serious. Consider the possibility that the problems you see in them may actually be evidence of their greatest strengths.
I invite you to stop labeling your children’s natural gifts as disabilities.
Instead, ask yourself: “How can I honor this child’s natural energy and allow them to reach their highest potential?”
Your child is a gift to this world. You will be a gift to your child if you do this.
Become your own children’s child whisperer, intuitively raising them to be the true and wonderful version of themselves – the one that they are meant to be!
Carol will be writing a follow-up piece to this article in the coming weeks where she’ll provide more insight on how you can become a child whisperer and honor your child’s natural gifts.
Article photo credits: Jason Lee His portfolio