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|Who is this site for?
This is the place to come to if you are the parent of a highly distractible child or the spouse of a highly distractible
mate. This is also the place to come if YOU are the highly distractible
person. This site celebrates the energy and the non-linear path of the distractible
mind. We don't believe these folks are defective. We believe they are
blessed and even fortunate to have a gift of such energy and creativity. And we love them dearly. But we also know that there are unique challenges in:
||Raising a highly distractible child
||Sharing your life with a high energy, distractible mate or
||Being a distractible, non-linear thinker in a very linear world.
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|What can I expect?
Here we hope you will find a community -- folks who share some of life's
lighter moments, some of it's struggles, and strategies that address those
various challenges. One of our gifts to each other is the strength that
lies in the knowledge that we're not alone.
If you join the Sizzle Bop! list (absolutely free), you'll receive
regular reminders prompting you to
act in ways that grow not only your distractible loved one but your whole
family. You'll also receive tips that equip, thoughts
that encourage and stories that entertain. To
see examples and learn more about joining, click
Why is it called
The title for this site was an inspiration from my much loved but high energy (and high maintenance) son.
One night several years ago, he came rushing into my room, out of breath, to inform me that something "really serious" had
happened. It somehow involved flying pieces of broken light bulb glass and smoke. Fearing an impending fire, I flew to the site of
concern. Sure enough, there was a light bulb with a substantial portion missing. I found the offending piece lying almost ten feet from the lamp.
I wondered at the laws of physics that had been at work here when I saw what looked like the remnants of a water drop on a piece of
glass. I asked my son if water had been dropped onto the bulb. With very deliberate speech, he said that perhaps "when he had been talking" a piece of saliva...might have been expelled onto the
bulb. "Why had he been talking to a lamp?" I thought.
Then I noticed the desert dry rivulets of previous spit streams that were encrusted upon this defenseless
bulb. "Son?" I called quietly. My incredulous tone betrayed the
calm I otherwise possessed. What I'm thinking might have happened here couldn't really have
happened....could it? "Son," I said again "have you actually been spitting on this light bulb?"
He gave me a very wide-eyed and fearful expression.
Let's try again.
"Son, why were you spitting on this light bulb?"
I could visualize seventeen or eighteen wheels turning in his head. Finally, the answer I shall never forget
"Because I like the sizzle"
In spite of the very clear dangers, I burst out laughing. (I know that many children go through a saying "NO!"
stage. Some go through a biting stage. But no one ever warned me about the
"spitting-on-light bulbs-stage"). I think the most revealing part of the story can be summed up in the line "I like the sizzle!"
These kids do indeed like the sizzle. They like to
||See the sizzle
||Hear the sizzle and often
||BE the sizzle
That is a part of their wonderfulness, and also a part of the challenge in sharing daily life with
them. That sizzle can lead them into wonderful discoveries of humor, learning and
experience. But that same desire for sizzle can lead them into difficulties.
Our hopes in this group is to limit the difficult side with shared strategies and to more fully celebrate the wonderful side that is so often
And here comes the "Bop" part of Sizzle Bop! There is a daily dance of life that is unique to
the shared time with these high energy individuals. In spite of all of their challenges, there is a charged and delightful energy that comes with the
package. In our family, we've chosen to dance to the music, to join in the bop, instead of trying to turn down the
|Don't Miss the Gift in
Without a doubt you either have run into or will run into people who do not see your child’s high energy level and constant distractibility as a gift. They
comment with a sympathetic smile that they don’t know how you do it. They assert quite
firmly that they wouldn’t have the patience to deal with a child like
ours (I usually hear this as I’m trying to get him to cease his swinging from the door jams). Then there are those who think that this child is just a behavior problem, which if we just permitted them, they could easily “fix”. Perhaps you’ve been saddened that people see your spouse as insensitive rather than hyper-focused. Perhaps you’ve been the one to cause the spread of bewilderment on the faces of people who’ve tried to follow your thoughts as they
crisscrossed over several seemingly unrelated topics.
The world is very quick to tell you all the negatives that are associated with the non-linear mind. They have highly cerebral labels and scientifically researched remedies and behavior modification systems and new diet fixes and advice and missed nutrients and electronic devices and evidence of right brains that are no longer on speaking terms with your left brain…you name it! There’s some angle to be worked. And these things are not necessarily bad. I might
even discover some day that one of them was really on target. But I’ve grown weary of listening to the giant national sigh of sympathy that is often associated with the condition of my son, or my husband or the more recent admission…myself.
I know the deep recesses of my mind would be a bewildering place for most people to visit, let alone reside. But I’ve come to a quiet conclusion that I’m no longer quiet about….I like the way my mind works. I like the way my husband’s mind works. (Okay…most of the time) And I love the energy-filled, cross-country tour that my son’s mind takes every day. While the world is focused on all the difficulties that arise because we don’t process like them, I have made a conscious choice.
I have chosen to RELAX.
I have chosen to focus on the delightful side of this “condition”.
I will certainly look for strategies that makes it easier to survive and succeed in this linear world, but my success at achieving the “linear look” will no longer be my defining measure.
Once I started down this road of dancing with the non-linear rhythm rather than trying to suppress it, many lovely things began to happen.
||In our homeschool, I threw out all the traditional educational wisdom regarding how children should learn and instead, through experimentation, found out how my child did learn. And learn he did, at a rapid rate. I found that if I included some form of motion in every learning activity, my son would not only absorb material
just fine, but he’d do it quickly and permanently.
||I found that my lack of regimentation in thinking resulted in a delight driven education for my children. They never knew what Mom might teach about next week, but whatever it was, they knew she’d be enthusiastic about it.
||I accepted that when I asked my husband a question, he needed transition time to mentally move away from whatever he was currently involved in. It was no longer a point of frustration. It was no longer a statement about a lack of respect of attention to me. It was how his brain worked.
||I found that while my house wasn’t perfectly ordered, it was a child-rich environment because there were sweet potatoes growing in the glass jars in a sunny window, molds growing in the dark cupboard (sometimes even on purpose!
), a child-art gallery plastered on the walls, salt dough replicas of ancient structures resting on the dining room table, and giggling girls learning how to dance to some Irish dance steps while the boys and I recreate the backwards bend needed to kiss the “Blarney Stone."
Our house is filled with fun. I would even go so far as to say it is filled with an energy-immersed fun that isn’t usually replicated in those homes of perfect order. Please don’t get me wrong. Those homes are lovely. They serve their families well. They are what they are for some very good reasons. And while I would enjoy some of the benefits of greater order, I also believe that perhaps, sometimes, those ordered families would enjoy some of the spontaneity and spark that runs through our non-linear worlds too. We each have different approaches worth celebrating.
So the lesson in all of this is to start looking for and developing the gifts that come in these highly distractible packages. If we’re talking about your child, I must tell you that I married a grown up version of one of these kids and they make WONDERFUL husbands. If allowed to believe in their personal worth, they can accomplish things that calmer, regular energy level folks could never even contemplate. They become the doers, the creators, the inventors, the risk takers
(risk can be good! Just ask Bill
Gates :-) and the explorers.
I know you must look seriously at learning disabilities and social skills that need to be addressed. I understand that. But don’t allow the down side of being distractible to define your highly distractible loved one. So much of the literature out there can leave you feeling that the negatives truly ARE the defining factor. Don’t allow it. Fight it. Campaign actively against it. Start to explore and delight in their fast paced or meandering thought. Follow it to the end and see where it takes you. Your destiny may not be one of rigid order. Just ask Thomas Edison.