Marie-Élaine Thibert confides in her ADD diagnosis

One of the greatest gifts we can give our child is that they can continue their studies if they wish. This is one of Marie-Élaine Thibert’s greatest wishes for her daughter Marie-Félix. The singer’s school career was not always easy. She now knows she has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) which she has learned to manage. That’s why she does everything in her power so that Marie-Félix can go her own way with confidence.

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Marie-Élaine, you have various commitments this summer.

Yes, I continue the tour Nicole, the songs of a lifetime. It’s a great success! We have extras until 2024. I also plan to help develop my indoor show tape, scenery and staging. I will be the co-producer. I like working with experienced people who guide me and have both hands in the game. My piano voice tour starts with the ROSEQ at the end of August and I will be presenting nine shows. It’s such a pleasant tour… Being in a different little village in Gaspésie every night is wonderful!

Will your daughter accompany you on this tour?

Marie-Félix will follow me half the time. I will return to Montreal for four shows and then leave with her. Yves, my right arm, will also follow me. These two are very complicit!

You just showed us the video of remembers youattended by Marie-Félix.

Yes, she plays my role there at the age of nine. It’s not really my childhood because I grew up in Montreal and we shot on the Magdalen Islands. We romanticized the whole thing. We drove there for two days, sight-seeing for two days and then drove back again for two days. (laughs) My daughter was wonderful! She connects easily with others. On the ferry she made friends to play with.

Is she attracted to this job?

She sings, she dances, it’s one of her passions, but I don’t think she’ll make a career out of it, and that’s okay! She likes medicine, pediatrics, childbirth. He is also interested in more technical things. Sometimes I invite her to watch something else, but she finds it exciting. She has been talking to me about medicine and children since she was little. I’m saving for her studies so she has access to the best there is in the field. If she chooses something else, all the better or shame, but if she really wants it, she has a bright future ahead of her.

Is she good at school?

Yes, she’s good, but she doesn’t like to learn. From Monday to Thursday I make him do homework and lessons. I accompany him. I come across as strict on that level, but I try to give her that daily routine so that in high school, like me—and like many others—she doesn’t end up doing her last-minute homework and sometimes even not completing it. I’m trying to teach him this good habit, but then it will be his choice.

Did you find it difficult to get to school?

Yes, but it must be said that I still have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). He is light-hearted, but there were consequences at school. I didn’t listen in class. In the evenings I didn’t know what homework to do or I forgot it. I never bothered, but I wasn’t always very attentive. I was over the moon (laughs) From the second year of elementary school I went to the stars…

Was it a relief for you to give a name to what you went through?

Yes, as well as knowing that many suffer from it. In my case it is light. I consulted. I take medication when I really need it, but I don’t take it every day. I accept myself as I am. My friends laugh at me because I’m in the moon. I barely get to the end of the to-do list. But I tell myself that everyone has something! If it’s not attention deficit, then it’s something else. What exactly is “normal”? Recently my mother gave me my certificates that she had kept. I had grades in the 70s, sometimes in the 60s, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

At that time there were no resources or support?

No, hyperactive people were given Ritalin, but I doubt there was anything for people with ADD without hyperactivity. In high school, I had to take math classes every summer. Every summer I had to go to school…

It doesn’t help a child like school does.

no I am very happy to see that my daughter is listening at school, understanding for the first time and assimilating what she has learned. Marie-Félix enters her fourth year with top marks. It’s comforting, mostly because it comes with self-esteem.

Your ADD hasn’t stopped you from being successful and finding your place.

In force. In high school I discovered that I could sing. I studied at a music school. I wasn’t aware of my voice yet, it was life that made me discover it. She has done me good.

Are you conscious of giving your daughter beautiful tools to help her discover herself?

I believe that as parents we have this duty. I remember my mother insisting on letting me do my homework… I sat backwards in my chair and drew under the table while she tried to explain something to me for the 20th time… I’ll admit that she was patient, but patient! When I was in high school, she could screw me up. It was up to me to take command.

Does your mother’s commitment to your role as a parent inspire you?

Yes. My parents were separated and my father was present, but I only saw him every other weekend. My mother raised me alone. There’s always spice in a mother-daughter relationship… (laughs) We both have character. Now I see that my daughter is close to my mother and has the same relationship with her that she has with me.

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