Are you a Dandelion or an Orchid?

In Sweden there is a phrase that describes kids who have the ability to survive, maybe even thrive, no matter what life throws at them. They are called “Dandelion Children” because they are resilient and get on with the job of growing up whatever their circumstances, just like their namesake which grows wherever the wind takes it.

Then there are “Orchid Children” who are sensitive and require a high level of care and attention. If they are nurtured in the right environment then the results will be amazing, but neglect them and they will quickly deteriorate (ELLIS & BOYCE).

So is your child a delicate flower or a hardy weed?

Dandelion image

Around 80% of the population has genes that make them as robust as Dandelions, able to cope with life's ups and downs and get the job done. But for the Orchids out there, it's a bit of a lottery as to how their life will turn out. The very genes that make it more difficult to bloom also hold the key to help them shine the brightest! With the right environment Orchids can grow up to be society's most creative, successful and happy people. But they are fragile, so if they don't get the care and attention they need they will struggle to survive (DODDS).

Orchids often have challenging conditions to deal with - dyslexia and ADHD are common, - but given the right support they can flourish. Lewis Hamilton, Steven Spielberg and Keira Knightley are a few extraordinary Orchids who didn't let dyslexia get in their way. Famous Orchids with ADHD include Jamie Oliver and Richard Branson. In fact many entrepreneurs and business leaders have ADHD; statistically people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own business (PERRAULT).

While not everyone with ADHD or dyslexia will have the same level of success as Jamie Oliver, research shows that a disproportionately high number of children with these difficulties may have extraordinary potential. So given the right environment, the sky is the limit for Orchid children.

What's really exciting is research that shows all it takes is one positive, nurturing person who is a patient gardener in a field of weeds to help a child realise their potential (MARRE).

And let's not forget, weeds are flowers too! So whether a Dandelion or an Orchid, we are all special in our own way.