My Kid Is That Kid


My kid is THAT Kid.

He’s the kid who never listens the first time. Or the second. Or even the tenth.

You can pick him up out of the line up in the school hallways. He’s the one who doesn’t walk in an orderly fashion. He runs or spins or stops in his tracks if something catches his eye.

He has a hard time keeping his hands to himself.

His handwriting and spelling don’t betray his intelligence…you might be fooled into thinking it’s all a struggle if you’re not paying attention.

He’s the one making all the noises with his mouth, only stopping when his siblings finally yell at him.

His heart sometimes breaks a little because he’s not always sure why what he’s doing is so wrong. His ideas come out in a jumble and you have to slow way down and look in his eyes to listen.

His ideas are just too big and too fast for his head it seems and so they come out in any old order. But he needs you to hear him.

His energy cannot be contained by walls and he seems to take up so much more space than his size.

He tries every ounce of your patience if you’re trying to get somewhere.

You might send him to put on his boots and he’ll come back with a new LEGO creation.Time has no meaning when a new plan strikes.

He can understand stories on a level well beyond his years and will floor you with his insights.

He is smart as a whip yet school isn’t always his jam. He’d rather talk about why Sally is giving away 24 of her apples instead of solving the story problems in math.

He loves fiercely and deeply and without reservation.

He will tuck a blanket around you if you look cold and will always share a bite of his cookie. He can read your emotions on your face and will always know who is lonely on the playground.

He runs to open your car door and will insist on carrying your bag in the house for you.He loves to climb into your lap and wants to hold your hand as he falls asleep.

His greatest joy is making you laugh from deep in your belly. His body is eight but his soul is much older.

He is so many things…sometimes the world wants to label him with letters and words and numbers…and sometimes these help us understand him better.

But the letters and words and scores are not what he is. They cannot capture his essence. There is no data taken anywhere on big hearts, but if there were this kid would be the shining star.

Like all our kids he is just himself. The sum of gifts and struggles all bound together with love.

And my hope for him, and all kids really, is that we can see these clearly. We can look beyond the definitions and categories to what’s shining in their eyes and hiding behind their smiles.

And we can love them just the way they are.

He’s the kid who never listens the first time.Or the second.Or even the tenth.You can pick him up out of the line…

Posted by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt on Wednesday, January 16, 2019



  1. Oh boy….

    So what do you do when they get older?
    This describes our son in many ways. And I’ve even questioned if im just a bad parent. But then our daughter proves it’s not that. We parent them the same way, but personalized as needed of course.

    But he gets overwhelmed, his expression can’t keep up with his mind. He knows what he wants to accomplish but gets overwhelmed when he doesn’t know HOW to get there. He’s convinced that’s “just the way he his” and that frustrates him.
    THAT tears my heart out, and of course, I try to tell him that “ALL of us have frustrations, imperfectionsthat’s, ways that “it’s just the way we are” but that doesn’t mean we always have to be, we CAN change them, and we must work to change them. Everyone has their struggles, and we can’t just give up and accept that we’ll never improve, never grow. We might not no HOW, but we can never just throw in the towel and not try.
    It’s OK to “take a break” as long as we don’t let the “break” become the lifestyle.

    He WANTS my help, he’ll even ASK for my help, but the moment anyone actually tries to help, he doesn’t want any help!

    He’s only 12 …..what happens when “that kid” becomes a teenager?

    I know it is my duty to make sure that “that kid” doesn’t drag “those things” into being “that adult”. Because no one out there in the world is going to love him like we do, have the patience and tolerance for his struggles like we do …..and the consequences get increasingly severe when as we get older.

    And I’m reminded that I’m not “a bad parent” because he has struggles, but if I let it go and don’t find a way to help him overcome, learn his way through and find ways to improve his natural human imperfections…. If I let him enter adulthood without teaching him, or helping him overcome or find ways to improve those things and grow, THAT IS being a bad parent.
    So what do we do as he’s entering the teen years?

    • Ahh my husband is “that adult” and now I have “that kid” and I love both fiercely and immensely. My husband didn’t have a mom like me and you. One that tries to help her child figure this world out. Your son has a wonderful future because of you.

    • I would like to know myself…this is soooo my kid. And so far the answers I’ve been getting are to medicate him ? I don’t know how I feel about that but at the same time I feel like I’m failing him. Help!

      • Delia, I do medicate my child and I do it on the lowest dosage that he can handle. Remember they have the metabolisms of a race car and what may seem high isn’t necessarily high for them since it runs out of the system faster. He was also diagnosed (at 12) with high functioning Autism. Like I don’t know what the number scale is but he’s a 1-2, and it is in the socializing area. He is in a class called Making Connections to help him understand the world around him. I say talk to your doctor or maybe go the CBD oil route. They make them in gummies and I’ve heard they work wonders too.

    • I have this kid as a teenager. He’s 15, but some days he seems so much older and others he appears that much younger.
      He is a good, kind, smart, wonderful boy and high school is proving to be a test for us both.
      From K-8th we were maintaining and he had such good grades and now we’re on a roller coaster because high school is so much less forgiving and they expect these kids to be adults and I do NOT baby my boy, but…jeez…he’s also not 30. He doesn’t “get it” the first time, every time, and sometimes he needs clarification.
      Some teachers are awesome, patient, forgiving and others are harsh and unyielding.
      My heart hurts often, for him, and…for me.
      We struggle, we fail, we struggle some more, and we win!
      It’s a constant trial, but I know he can do it.
      He will do it.
      They all will. I just pray, all the time, that his spirit is never broken.

    • I married that adult. He went to college but couldn’t sit still or care. He’s a foreman for a high-end builder and he’s been with the company for 15 yrs. He makes a great income w health benefits etc. He can talk to clients with such finesse it blows my mind. Hes 35. Put him at a desk and watch his frustration grow and soul die. He married me. I work at a desk, manage our finances, schedule social stuff anf he shows up. He cooks.
      Hes a great dad to our kid and 1 on the way… in school they said he had adhd. They were probably right. He still can’t figure out the apples but he can buy tile by sqft for a 12000sqft house. Blows my mind. There are places in the world for everyone and routes that are a bit unconventional to get there.

    • You keep going and shake your head alot. My son is “That Kid” and he is 15 years old. His teachers are equally perplex and impressed by his logic and energy. He still wants a hug but it is less and less the older he gets. He loves his video games and it is the only time I swear he can sit still. In school the classes that should be easy he is barely passing but his college level class he has an A in. His friends claim he is an evil mastermind, but everything he does (even wrong) is usually done to help someone he cares about. He fidgets constantly and wants to dissect every commercial on TV. We have a rule no talking during movies, he breaks it every time to explain why what is shown on the screen is not possible. Hey kid SCI-FI/cartoon/”its a movie”, let it go.
      Its an odd adventure of wondering if he is building an actual rocket (for fun) or a science fair project in the garage. You meet the teachers with a smile and most of them want to tell you how smart he is and how much better he would do if he actually turned in his homework.
      I tell people I am raising Sheldon. They laugh and then think about it and go “yes, I can see it”.
      You have to just go with the flow and learn to accept you will never have silence but you will have the most entertain conversation and will revert to your mother with the “Because I said so” since you are done with the conversation on why he should not be doing X,Y, or Z.

  2. This is my kid, and his dad and I are both teachers. This has been my kid for 3 years. I get a call, note, or email about his behavior 3-4 days a week. We have worked with him and his teacher. He’s been in cognitive behavioral therapy, he’s has behavior plans, he’s had it all.

    Recently a switch flipped in him. He was still that kid, but much, much sadder. And angrier. And lonelier. My heart broke every day when I heard him talk about what a terrible kid he is, how he was always in trouble and nobody wanted to play with him any more because of it. We had to make a decision that brought lots of tears and heartache and worries. He takes medication now.

    I feel partially like a failure, but I also see that he is proud of himself now. My time is no longer consumed by emailing teachers and the principal. I don’t have to hold my breath when I pick him up and wait to hear how his day was. He is still my little boy, but he doesn’t feel like a bad kid any more. He’s still doing therapy in and out of school to learn strategies to help his impulse control, and we still make sure to give lots of positive feedback for his good choices. I have a lot of guilt about it all, for so many reasons.

    • Oh momma you are doing great! I medicate my child too but I make sure I keep it at the lowest dosage that he can handle and just recently upped his medication (he’s12). His sister is also on medication and she’s 17. Maybe because I am too ADD and on medication I can see it from the kids point of view. I know what it is like to be struggling and not being able to focus that putting them on medication wasn’t that big of a deal for me. But trust me when I say you did the right thing for your child and they will go on to do great things! Oh my daughter is an A/B student and I don’t let it be an “excuse” for them not to do well in school!

    • Yes! I have never been happier than seeing my son able to make friends again and not be feeling depressed at 6 years old!

    • Megan, can I ask what specifically
      You are medicating him for? This is my 7 year old TO A T. It’s like a switch flipped in 1st grade and he is so down on himself, can’t keep any friends, is always in trouble despite his teachers trying really hard to help. He says things like “I hate myself, I’ll always be bad” and my heart is BREAKING. I was just confronted by a parent today who said his daughter doesn’t want to come to school because of my son, right in front of him so he is devestated. I feel like he acts like he’s been traumatized somehow but there’s nothing we can think of that happened to change him so much. Thanks for sharing your story and I’m so glad your son is doing better. I’m hoping to find the right path for my son.

  3. No one wants their kid labeled ADHD but in our home, we accept it and appreciate all the good that comes from it while trying to work on the rest. It can be so damaging to a kid who thinks they are just bad and will never fit in. There are many many good resources like and How to ADHD (youtube). Please check them out and learn more about how amazing your kid is!

  4. This article could be written about my son as well… I have 2 very different add/adhd boys, and they get it from me. Difference is I did not have anyone ‘recognize’ what was going on as a child and was just written off as a kid who didn’t care and had so much ‘potential’. I hate that word now! I took matters into my own hands when I turned 19 but what I wouldn’t have given for someone to help sooner. When my son was a baby he had terrible reflux and I hated the idea of giving him meds. He was a tiny baby. But the dr said ‘would you rather him suffer and possibly have scars in his throat from not addressing it just because you don’t want to give him medicine?’ I applied that same theory as I saw the boys growing into add. Do I want them to have the scars and the pain I did, just to avoid the stigma of meds?? Or do I want them to be the best they can be and grow and appreciate what makes them special. We only Medicate on school days, and it comes with its own issues like appetite, etc. but they are thriving and succeeding and will have way more opportunities than I did because they will live to their ‘potential’. Hope this helps someone struggling with that decision.

  5. Now imagine “that kid” times 7. This is what I deal with in my second grade classroom. Seven boys all wanting and demanding my attention all the time. Irrational, impulsive, erratic, entitled, high energy, unfocused and intelligent are all adjectives that perfectly describe my crew. I have 22 students so almost a third of my class is very difficult to handle. Why the continuous increase on these behaviors? Environment, technology, foods, under/over parenting are all contributory factors. It’s disturbing and concerning.

    • I feel as though I am the author of what you wrote. I too am a second grade teacher and what you said described my last year’s class perfectly. I have the same concerns about the contributing factors that you mentioned. People who are not in the classroom cannot possibly imagine what it’s like. There needs to be some radical changes before we see an improvement.

  6. This to sounds like my son, he is about to turn 10 in less then two weeks. I decided when he was in the 2nd grade to have him looked at because of the figiting and constantly talking. He would often finish his work then disrupt the other students. I quickly wanted to get this looked at because when I was younger my brother has adhd and couldn’t go on the medication because of a heart problem. I saw how hard it was for him in school, teachers writing him off like he was lazy, someone secluding him from the class because of being to loud. I did not want that for my son, so regardless of the sigma about the meds, I was not going to let him struggle like my brother did. He is on a low dose and it helps tremendously. I would not have done it any other way.

  7. As someone with a Psychology degree and who did several research papers on this topic, I’d like to point out that these are also signs of gifted children. So many gifted children are wrongly diagnosed as having ADHD and they lose so much of that creativity and wonder. Not to upset anyone, because yes, some children do have ADHD. My oldest has been in the gifted and talented program since he was in Kinder. He is now in 6th grade. The teachers allow these kids to stand, use bouncy balls, express themselves freely, receive extra projects focusing on STEM…all things that ADHD kids would really benefit from as well! I wish the school system would adjust the teaching evironment to fit CHILDREN and not just their stats and reputation. My younger son missed the testing bc of a move and suffers as that kid who is always in trouble (talking, moving around, pestering kids bc he finished too early and gets bored), but makes straight A’s. The self esteem between the 2 is so different. One who was encouraged to be himself and the other who is pushed down constantly.

  8. Are any of you moms in Dallas, TX? This is my Son to a T!!! I would love to get together and meet some of y’all who share the same adventures and struggles that so many of us clearly do! I would also love for my son to meet some more kids that can better understand him. Reach out if interested! Thanks y’all and good luck!

  9. An Australian mum here… I have that boy, that became that teenager and is now that young man. My son was medicated (ADHD) and what a difference it made, and then he developed tics, so that was the end of medication. School isn’t always the best place for these kids, they nedd to be able to go for a run every 20 minutes and less distractions. My boy now has a degree, a great job, a lovely girlfriend and is a member of Mensa. He is also still frustrating at times, has some odd ideas and will ring out of the blue with his latest plan or idea. Learning music or karate, going to the gym is great for these kids, these beautiful, bright and wonderful children that make the world a better place. Don’t be disheartened, you are doing a great job.

  10. These are the kids most teacher have in class. I have grey hair from having a child like this but I wouldn’t change him for anything in the world. My son couldn’t sit for a class period, put in the back of the room. He wants to know what everything is. help my find out. Let him stand up. Give him special projects, challenge him to do something outside the norm. These kids are a blessing, drive you nuts as a parent and the ones I loved the most in the classes i taught.


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