Maxi Mind’s clientele is as diverse as the community in which we live. While our southern neighbours speak of their cultural “melting pot”, Canada is different, and especially so Toronto, where we take pride in our ethnic and cultural “salad bowl.”
So I won’t be shy to share a concept that originates in my tradition as a Jew, the tradition from Sinai. The broad relevance of this concept is enhanced by the fact that it concerns a legendary patriarch for all mankind, the ultimate good guy, even a global conservationist – Noah.
Upon emerging from the Ark, the Almighty makes a covenant with Noah and all of mankind, that he will never again flood the entire world (global warming notwithstanding) and to seal the deal he places a sign amidst the clouds – a rainbow.
Whether you take this legend as fact or fable, the story carries a fascinating lesson for us as parents and educators (especially since indeed every parent is also an educator).
Consider: The Big Guy in the Sky views the deeds of man, realizes that they are unsustainable, inclines towards hitting the global reset button, and then against all good sense and fair justice, he does quite the contrary: He shows us a rainbow! Does this make sense?
To me it would make more sense to put a sign in the clouds more like a giant finger wagging at us, warning us to improve our ways or else, but no! He chooses instead to seize the moment to express love – to attract us and make us happy by showing us something special.
We are what we are.
Kids, in general, drive their parents crazy. Maxi Mind kids, in general, are better than average at doing that. They can be messier, noisier, ruder and cruder, lazier and moreoppositional than your average kid.
We, as parents, try just about everything to help them grow up, which they seem exceptionally reluctant, by and large, to do. We explain, exemplify, direct, reward, punish, beg, plead, threaten and then ultimately, blow our stack. But nothing seems to work.
Here’s where it’s time to reflect on the rainbow.
I know of a boy who went off the path his parents paved for him. Not managing in school, he dropped out, gravitated to the park, the malls and ultimately the street, but no matter how degraded his lifestyle got, his parents bit the bullet and showed him love.
He knew how they felt and ultimately turned himself around, mainly because he could not bring himself to disappoint them because he could see how much they loved him.
Educating a child (or all of humanity for that matter!) is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Wagging your finger, or any other threat or punishment for that matter, may win you momentary compliance. But it’s that magnanimous expression of unconditional love that will ultimately win that wayward child back to become the best that he or she can possibly be.
The ADHD or Learning Disabled child in general cannot easily be bought or sold, intimidated or cajoled. But there is an irresistible and beautiful resource you have at your command and every child wants it. It is your love. Show them your rainbow and they will shine too.