An Altered State of Mind

This is your 7-year-old’s brain:

 

This is your 7-year-old’s brain on drugs:

 

Ok, maybe not on drugs, but how else would one describe this altered state of mind? As I’ve noted in my previous post, 2012 is the year I try to figure out our 7-year-old. He is a boy who, quite literally, colours outside the lines. I have spent 7 years misunderstanding and being misunderstood, loving passionately and being passionately angry, being amazed at how his mind works and then being utterly perplexed by how his mind works.

 Take the two pieces of art above. Picture #1 was created by the very same child who created picture #2, except that the contexts in which they were created were vastly different. Picture #1 was done in school during art class, while picture #2 was done at Kids’ Club, a fun extracurricular program which includes gym-time and snacks. I’m pretty sure there are other activities, but they are completely irrelevant to our son. If I understand correctly, picture #2 was created after a rip-roaring time in the gym and a snack of gingerbread men, black icing, and 5 M&Ms (to represent the 5 smooth stones that took down Goliath. Look closely at the picture and you may recognize the notorious ogre).

 I used to think that art therapy and the like was a bit hokey, but after seeing this I’ve been converted. If this doesn’t describe the brain of a kid who’s mastered by his boundless energy, then I don’t know what does.

There are basically two types of people in the world: those who need some down-time after running around all day, and those whose energy levels sky-rocket as a result. I don’t need a shrink to tell me which kind of child we’re looking at every morning.

Getting him out of the building after Kid’s Club is the first challenge, because he spends his time running around the place like an excited puppy who can’t believe his owner has returned home. The difference is that our excited puppy doesn’t want to return home, because we have no regulation-sized basketball court in the basement.

Once home, it takes us a full 45 minutes to complete the non-story version of the bedtime routine, a routine that could be completed during a commercial break. Trying to talk him down from this frenzied state is like trying to reason with an agitated wolverine. You can try talking, but you’re probably better off getting out the tranquilizer darts.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Wendy Stirbet said,

    My 7 year old is very similar. He has boundless energy, a short attention span and his brain needs to be engaged. If his brain is not engaged, then it’s not worth his time. If his actions result in the loud unhappy protesting yells of his brothers, then that’s just encouraging him to continue antagonizing them. I am always trying to figure out if its best to run him until he drops down tired, or find ways of getting him to calm down. Unfortunately either approach is not without lots and lots of effort. It definitely keeps me on my toes!


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