Common… shared by a number in a group.  That definition pretty-well expresses a lot of the statements I hear from parents who are enrolling their children in Lawton Academy each year.  These common ideas include: “My kid’s ADHD;” “It’s not his/her fault…it’s mine;” “I had trouble when I was in school , too.” and  “He/She is just like I was.”

               Often times, there really isn’t a common trait between parent and child.  However, there is a common thought-process in America today that anyone who fidgets or has a short attention span must be ADHD.  Not so!  I can remember students fifty years ago who couldn’t stand to be alone with their own thoughts for even a few minutes.  They talked, hummed, tapped, or just wiggled in general to avoid being alone with their own thoughts.

               Much of society today has decided to blame any misbehavior or distraction upon chemicals or other such entities which cause ADHD.  And of course, society willingly seeks medication to cover or treat this “social illness.”  However, my observation has generally shown much of the behaviors called ADHD are really the inevitable outcome of inconsistent parenting.  Many families have come to our school and worked with our staff to learn how to be more consistent in the parenting process.  The results?  Many of those “ADHD” children are doing fine in school!

               Don’t get me wrong, there are truly ADHD children who do need help through medication which reverses the hyperactivity in their brains.  But the records of educational institutions show about 90% of young boys in school are listed as ADHD.  I think (personal opinion) boys just have a tougher time adjusting to the typical restraints placed upon them in school settings.  I have always referred to this as the “Huckleberry Finn syndrome.”  These boys love the outdoors and big movement activities.  Many of them are truly “wise” about how things work in the “real” world outside school walls.

               As an administrator for fifty-four years, I have seen curriculum ideas come and go a number of times.  I watched the “New Math” protests of the sixties turn into the “changing paradigms” of the eighties, and now the “common core” curriculum fights for supremacy.  I think it is just “common” in mankind to always be looking for “the next best thing!” 

               In fact, I am already seeing some indicators that people are growing a little tired of video games.  I wonder what the new “common” entertainment platform will be next.  This blog certainly allows me to see those ideas our family of three generations hold in common, and those ideas which are quite oppositional among us.  It gives me “food for thought!”          

-        Kay