Bonus Thoughts, PDA edition

I sat down to write for the blog a couple weeks ago, and this flowed out of me instead. Ultimately, I culled it from our weekly post, but I wanted to save the thoughts to share separately. I won’t over-edit the original flow, so it starts with what took me through this thought process to begin with.  

We’ve hit a good stride. As I look over my notes (the list I mentioned starting here) it seems much the same as the past couple weeks now. For sharing, that seems uninteresting; but when I step back and think about it, I realize that means we’re easily keeping it rolling. We’ve set habits that are benefiting us, and the routine feels good enough that we don’t need to resist or fight against it.  

Myles is effortlessly entertaining himself, while also keeping up with learning goals outside of what we do together. This tells me that his needs are being met, and he’s learning how to fulfill them on his own as well. This has always been my goal, long term, and I’m amazed at how far he’s come already. He’s 8, and he knows how to manage his time quite well. I feel like better than many kids have reported they did when going off to college – this is a fault of the system and not the individuals.  

We homeschool to learn how to live, not just to learn about a topic. With ADHD, we both hyperfocus on any topic of interest we’re intrigued by at the time. Pursuing information will never be something that has to be forced on us, though force it, and we will certainly resist – even if we previously wanted to do it. 

Myles constantly rattles off facts that I have never shared with him. I don’t know where he picks it all up, honestly. He watches videos on YouTube that seem absolutely pointless to my conditioned mind of what makes up a valuable resource. 

Sometimes we will sit down to do a “lesson” together, and he lights up and tells me what he knows at a greater depth than our resource had to share. It’s so rewarding to see the enthusiasm as he can’t contain himself and has to tell me something he knows that relates. 

He’s encouraged to pursue his interests and work at a pace that feels comfortable. That’s the goal, learning to trust yourself and be aware of your personal needs. 

The way we were raised, it was all forced on us. We had to figure ourselves out in the moments around what had to be done: homework, chores, demands, demands, demands. They may not have even been so bad if we could have been aware of them and chosen to do them as they fit into our time. 

At least that’s what I’ve discovered in adulthood. Maybe I’d be content to never wash dishes again, but I don’t mind fitting it into a moment that I want a break from thinking and already plan to listen to an audiobook that has my interest.   It gives my hands something to do, it doesn’t require much from me beyond repetitive movement, and it’s beneficial to my environment. But tell me (even me telling myself) that I have to do the dishes or else, I will put it off as long as I can. I’ll even feel awful that I’m not doing it while actively resisting doing it!  

This benefits me in no way, but I still can’t just “do it.” 

When our kids are like this, it’s easy to tell them there are things they just have to do, it’s how it is, stop being lazy… We were given the same treatment. (Lucky if this doesn’t apply to you!)

At some point I had to stop and ask myself if there was a way to be less miserable. If I’m honest – and I had to get really honest with myself to have this breakthrough – I didn’t want to be here anymore. If I was committed to staying on earth because the thought of putting my absence on my child seemed more unfair than my own burdens, I had to find ways to make it manageable to be here. I can “break the rules” or I can be dead. Okay, maybe letting myself out of this cage is worth a try. 

I never want my child to feel this way! I also know that what works for me may not be what works for him. Instead of trying to find the exact right thing and market some fix that everyone can benefit from, I believe in freedom. People know themselves best – sometimes this takes deconstructing old patterns and fear-based training to even get to a point of self-trust. It’s a challenging process to go through. I also never want that for my child. 

It’s crucial to me that he finds his own path, that his inner voice is strong and trustworthy, that he takes comfort in navigating the imperfections of our flawed world. The goal isn’t to cast aside emotions, but to learn how to process them. It isn’t to have a precise schedule or a fully carefree never-schedule. It’s not to follow steps or have an external system designed by someone else, though maybe with personal awareness and insight, we develop our own systems that work for us. 

And that’s it! Allowing. Trusting. Guiding…but letting go. There’s magic in letting go. 

I didn’t know I was going to write about this. I just showed up, glanced at my notes and thought “hmm, looks like last week…” – and then started with the truth, which was just that. The rest flowed from observation, awareness, and trust in my feelings. Authenticity is powerful. Why do we try so hard to cover it up with systems and expectations? (I could share some answers to this, but that’s not my goal here)

I could have panicked that I didn’t have anything unique to share, and for a moment my brain entertained the thought, but it was just in passing. What I’ve allowed myself in validation but not living in the thoughts I don’t need to keep gives me so much freedom. 

I want you all to feel freedom and peace instead of what we’ve been burdened with. That’s why I’m here. That’s why we pursue learning the way we do. That’s why I choose to share it. 

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