The Answer to ADD: Medication or Parenting? 1

So, a recent photo I posted on the gremlins Facebook page caused quite the stink. You can see it below.

It suggests that those who feel their children, or toddlers in this case, have ADD should pay attention to those children rather than shoving a pill in their mouths. Now, this apparently is a deeply offensive suggestion somehow. Let’s point out here that a parent who has made the personal parenting decision to medicate a child that has legitament attention issues AND honestly pays attention to their child and has already exhausted other avenues, clearly is not the target of this post or the photo. Point one of today’s blog: Don’t have your head so far up your asshole universe that you feel everything is about you.

Moving on, I want to dig into this a bit. Why did I post the photo? Was it to offend sensitive, overly stressed parents of “ADD” kids? Was it because 90 percent of the people of my page are there for comical photos, and I had exhausted the vast world of online comedic images? No. It was because it’s the truth. Not in a factual I can sit here and post you studies and figures and sway you with my impressively ingenuitive research skills– No, in a common sense truth sort of way.

ADD and other “disorders,” work under the flawed psychological suggestion that someplace there is this perfect and normal human being, and the fact is, no human on the face of the planet, or even other planets we may be on, is free of any and all “abnormal” psychological traits. What we call abnormal I see as different, I see as the amazing range of human emotion and personality that makes us human, I see as one of the best things about being a parent. Next, there’s the fact that while I have no statistic here, I personally have seen many kids that were just..being kids..they didn’t even have issues with attention severe enough to qualify under what bunk psychologists call “ADD” in the first place. They just..were energetic..well, kids whose parents didn’t want to deal with them. Those parents by the way, are the target of this post and picture.

I have three children. The eldest unquestionably has mild Aspergers. The middle child would most certainly be deemed ADD. The last, well, he’s freshly baked so who knows. They require very different parenting styles. It took a lot of attention and understanding to see who they were, how they operated, and how as parents we needed to operate to help them work around the challenges their differences would create for them in a social environment.

We see that our second child, since ADD is the topic here, is a do-it-now sort of kid. He doesn’t want to sit and think or talk about it, he wants to act. He’s a kid with unending energy and sadly not much patience for paying attention. So, maybe he needs to be played with until he’s so damn tired he has to sit still if we want to teach him anything. Maybe he’ll make impulsive mistakes all his life, but then I’ll bet he’ll be a getter-done kinda guy who achieves great things without a prescription or that prescription’s side effects.

Mine aren’t easy children to raise, but you know, (point two here it is) nobody said parenting was easy. All jobs come with their challenges. There have been times I have found myself crying in the middle of my kitchen floor in a sea of dish soap and Bisquik and even there in my desperation I would NEVER try to medicate away the wonder that is my childrens’ differences just to make my life easier. I would NEVER put the idea in their heads that there is something so wrong with them they need to medicate it away or that a pill can solve any real problem in life. No, because it may be a hard job, but it’s my job to teach them how to cope in the real world and how to function in society, but most importantly, how to be happy with who they are and their lives. That’s what a parent is, and too many parents these days are too quick to let their kids be labeled, too quick to say, “fix it, doctor please.” There is no Tardis in real life. There is no magic pill. So, yes, attention challenged or hyperactive or not…your child needs your attention and that’s a simple truth. If you choose as a parent to also look to medication, that’s your choice, it’s your child, the final point was simply that attention should come first, and personally, for me I’d say a good long look at what you’re considering an “abnormal” handicap, disorder, disease, special need… that should be erased, because you know, you might be erasing part of what makes your child who they are. Life, and it’s challenges, are what you make them.

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