My oldest (8 yrs old) is giving me a hell of a time lately. He “forgets” everything. Everything is “too hard”. Or “not fair”. He wrecked TWO cars in a week, because he wasn’t paying attention on his bike.
His legs are tore up from cat scratches because he will NOT leave the cat alone like we’ve asked, every. single. day. for the last year.
He “can’t” memorize his multiplication tables, because it’s “too hard”. This is the same child who gets a 6-8 line Bible verse from the church he goes to with Grandpa every week, and doesn’t even look at it until the drive to church and has it memorized before they walk in.
He apparently wants confetti and a parade every time he picks up a piece of dirty laundry.
Punishment just does not work.
I was at my wit’s end this morning, when I vented on a message board I am a part of. The first 2 replies were “You need to have him evaluated for ADHD.” I kind of ignored those two, and then I got a handful of people going “he sounds like a boy. Send him out to pull weeds.” I got a lovely piece of advice, reminding me of what my job actually is, which is to train him on how to do all these things, and yes, I do need to do constant reminders. Not that he shouldn’t be held accountable, but, he’s still learning. Which I needed to hear.
Then, I got more than a handful of parents telling me how their kids just needed drugs and now they are fine.
Then, I got bombarded with private messages from teachers, telling me, if a child in their class acted like mine, the first thing they would do is tell the parents to have him evaluated and probably medicated. When I said I didn’t think that was necessary, I was accused of child abuse, and that if my child was in their class and I refused, it was their responsibility to call CPS.
Because I don’t want my child turned into a zombie? Because I would like drugs to be the last resort?
I’ll say it…I don’t think ADHD is a real thing, or maybe it is, but certainly not to the extent it is diagnosed. I think there are a LOT of people who have some serious issues, and need help. I know some kids and SOMETHING is wrong with them, but, to diagnose practically every kid who likes to run and doesn’t want to do things that aren’t fun as ADHD, does a great disservice to the kids who really do have issues. It amuses me, in a sad way, when an adult numbs their feelings, their pain, with alcohol, we call it a disease. When an adult numbs their problems with illegal drugs, we arrest them, but when we don’t practically put drugs in a candy dispenser to drug our kids,to numb them, to calm them, to quiet them, that is abuse.
I think it’s interesting the US is falling behind most other industrialized nations in, well, almost everything. We medicate our kids to fix them. But, oddly, the symptoms of ADHD and the signs of a gifted child are very close to the same. So, are we turning our smart kids from kids willing to tell the teacher they are wrong, who are happy to get engrossed in a new “invention” into kids who all act the same, because they are all on drugs that make them easier to handle? We don’t know why are kids are getting fatter, but we drug them if they don’t sit still.
I knew a woman whose son was an absolute terror. He makes mine look like perfect children. He screamed at, cussed at, and his his mother. He’d steal thing, He’d destroy property. He was terrible. And his mother dealt with it by saying “Martin you need to calm down” then she would take away something from him, he’d scream and take it back, and she’d throw her hands up and give in. Finally he was diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. ODD…look it up. The symptoms are your kid is a brat. The treatment? drug him up. Well, no, therapy, you don’t drug kids with ODD, but, they almost all have ADHD, which needs to be drugged out of them.
Why are we the only country that has such a prevalence of this disease?
Why am I being told my kid needs medicated to do his homework, because his brain makes it hard for him to sit still and concentrate, but…he has no problem reading a book. He sat still just fine on the 16 hr car ride last week, great behavior. He needs drugs to remember things, but, he doesn’t need drugs to remember Sat is soccer, or what day the minecraft video game came out, or what time the library closes, or what days we go to open swim at the YMCA. You know, I forget mundane things and remember fun things as well, apparently I’m ADHD. He needs medication to remember his multiplication tables, but, can remember a Bible verse fine, because he likes to be the best.
I don’t know what the answer is with my son, but, he was out pulling weeds, and mowing the lawn today, then he had chores inside as well. We’ve severely limited video game time, and canceled cable. We’ve all been changing our diet, to less processed food, less dye. Maybe none of this will have any effect, but I certainly can’t see how it would be bad for any of us either. And, I honestly think, I am now having to fix a few years of not great parenting, and I don’t know that I need to give my kid drugs with potential harmful side effects, so this is easier on me. I think there are far too many variable present, that can and should be changed before we rush to medication.
Now, I’m curious to see if I even have any more people reading this after this post, because I know one reader is completely against drugs and medication, and I know another one is a psychiatric nurse. I’m not trying to put down anyone, I’m just saying, I was concerned with how quickly I was told by complete strangers my kid needed medicated, because I was frustrated with him, and how when I said I wasn’t ready to worry about that at this point, I was accused of abuse. It isn’t even like anyone can claim he’s bothering a classroom. When he gets to be a handful, he gets to go out and pull weeds, that seems to help some.