Energy. something we tend to have a lot of (at least until our 30's)
One thing that probably saved me throughout adolescence was running. I ran and ran. I was a national competitor when I was 14 (AAU), and an IHSA State qualifier when I was 17. I ran a half marathon the summer before senior year with a sub-6 minute pace. As you can tell I am very proud of this.
Growing up with A.D.D., having something to work for, something to be proud of, helped me a lot. There were always times where I didn't fit in or felt out of place, and I could fall back on what I was good at. Most of the friends I had were runners who were willing to overlook my weirdness and hyperactivity because I was a valuable asset to the team. And when they got to know me, none of those things mattered. Running helped me gain acceptance.
That's not all Running did for me. I clearly had a LOT of energy to burn. Running gave me the stimulation I needed to get by from day to day, especially when I started getting rebellious and not taking my medication. In fact, when I stopped running, I became an insomniac. I worked evenings and early AM because I couldn't sleep. I stopped running due to tendonitis as well as decreased interest.
Here it is, coming up quickly, the 15th anniversary of that half marathon. I ran a Tough Mudder last month and it kicked my butt but I finished! I am running again, sleeping better, and now I'm passing the tradition on to my kids, like my dad did for me.
Last night my 6 year old ran a mile. without stopping. In fact, if she had run it much quicker, I wouldn't have been able to keep up! My 3 year old ran half a mile too! My kids inspire me to keep running and excercising, so I can continue with them as long as possible! My 10 yr old is just starting to show an interest as well, and it provides us with some much needed Daddy-Daughter time with no little sisters hogging the spotlight.
So, the point is: Find something to do. Your parents said it to you for years as a kid, and it holds true through life. Find something to do. Something you love. Something that will burn off that energy and give you that stimulation your mind needs to function. Cook, Eat, Run... or take up boxing or quilting or puzzles. And as an adult, start a tradition. Just like holiday traditions, regular excercise or activities with your kids will help them keep occupied, and it will build a tighter bond in your family.