Friday, June 19, 2009

An eye opener

So what do you do when you are on phone duty and the phone isn't ringing?  Finally, catch up on your blog!
Brynley is 6 months old now, and starting to look more like a grown up sheltie dog.  His favorite place to nap is on the arm rest of the sofa, especially if I'm sitting there.  I usually have a sheltie boy on either side.  Perfect.
Daughter had a great time at her dance recital in May.  She has decided, with our agreement, to join a competition dance team this coming school year.  This is a big time and financial commitment, so this will be the main activity of this year.  
Son finished up the year with a successful science fair project presentation and his first big concert as a flute player. He will be playing the flute in the 7th grade band this coming year.
I have been very busy with the real estate business, having the kids home for the summer, and trying to train too many dogs.  This week at foundations agility class, I had an eye opening experience.  Now, you would think if I had a revelation at a dog training  class it would be about dog training, but it wasn't. I had a sudden insight into my son's life of living with ADD. 

Maverick has a major issue with barking.  This week I began using a manners minder at class to work on this problem.  (side note- the manners minder was pretty successful and we are making some progress)  I had class first with Brynley and then with Maverick.  Mav was in his crate with the manners minder and I was using a remote to dispense food rewards when he didn't bark.  Of course, this meant that through out both classes a certain amount of my attention was on Maverick and timing his rewards. I thought that I was doing really well at multi-tasking and listening to the instructor.  Yet in both classes as my turns came up, I would find myself making mistakes, or suddenly realizing that I didn't really know what the instructions were.  Of course, I've done agility for a long time, and I thought I knew what I was doing, right up until I did the exercise wrong. I was feeling frustrated with myself that even though I was listening I didn't seem to be able to "get it right". 

It wasn't until I was driving home that I had a light bulb moment.  This is exactly how my son feels every day in school!  Oh wow!  What a revelation.  I realized that my problem was because part of my attention was always on Maverick and rewarding him, even though I didn't realize it at the time and thought I was paying attention.  But for my son, this is what ADD is like all the time. He thinks he's paying attention, he's trying to pay attention, but when it comes time to do the exercise something goes wrong because his brain wasn't as focused as he thought it was. Wow!  My problem is temporary and easily solved, but for my son, this is his life.  All I can do is be understanding and patient and try to help and guide him to succeed in spite of the challenges he faces. 

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