3 tips for taking a field trip with an ADHD child.

Yesterday, we went to a mansion that was built for a young lady because it was what she requested if she were to agree to marry her very insistent husband-to-be.

Apparently, I’ve been doing marriage wrong.

But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that we went because my daughter was interested in finding out if it was haunted.

Is it? No. Not to my knowledge.

But there was a rocking horse made out of real horse hide with a real horse hair mane and tail.

Not terrifying at all.

For most people, a trip like this with a soon-to-be ten-year-old girl would have been a piece of cake. You’d simply show up with your daughter, gently peruse the grounds, and then skip off hand-in-hand Rory and Lorelai style.

Now, let me introduce you to Ava:

Ava, to say the least, is what you would call energetic. Or, if you were a doctor, you might say something to the effect of, “Mrs. Clay, please remove your child from my ceiling.”

You get the point.

She’s been like this since she was a baby. I’m pretty sure she learned to somersault before walking and one time scaled a massive outdoor climbing apparatus when I looked away for two seconds (LITERALLY) and then started laughing when the eight-year-old boy below her was crying and clinging in fear.

She was three.

People always wonder why God decided we only needed only child. And then they spend five minutes with her.

But for me, this is a beautiful thing. I’ll be honest though. In the beginning? Not so much.

I worried. I cried. I blamed myself.

I thought this happened because we had somehow dishonored God and would forever be committed to a life of cleaning footprints off the ceiling.

But you see, I was just looking at things wrong.

Because Ava is the perfect embodiment of the story of Job. Of how you can feel like you’re at a disadvantage and that God is working against you when, in reality? He’s using your situation to grow the relationship you have with Him even deeper.

This is how I’ve explained it to Ava. And she kind of loves thinking of it like that.

So when we go on field trips, I don’t panic anymore. I just set us up for success.

Here are a few tips that might help when you’re out on a homeschooling field trip with your ADHD kiddo:

  1. Keep their hands busy. Ava was actually the one who suggested taking pictures with my camera which I definitely got on board with. Sure, I now have a camera roll brimming with everything from ceiling cracks to individual planks of hardwood but my pictures needed spicing up anyways.
  2. Distract with useful information. When I start to see “the look” (you know the one that says “I’m about to do an impression of a currently hit Broadway show,” I throw in quips about the architecture, I ask questions that make her think, I do my own Broadway production because at least I know I can keep from smacking that irreplaceable two-hundred-year-old plate to the ground. Hopefully.
  3. Find a kind, elderly woman who enjoys children who seem to be on some sort of psychedelic sugar-high. Okay, you’re not going to nail this one every time. But if you do have a guide during your trip like ours and your child is a social butterfly (see picture below), then give your child the reigns to ask questions on your tour. As long as those questions are on point and not so much about where the guide likes to purchase her make up (you can’t win them all).


A tip for you, Mom? Enjoy it. I know the anxious feeling you harbor in the pit of your stomach. The one that seems permanently fixed to your colon because you’re pretty sure something embarrassing will be going down any moment. And maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. Either way, let me leave you with this:

“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Light. Momentary. But the love? Oh so real.

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