It makes me sad that society feels that they need to over medicate normal, healthy, active children who have crazy imaginations and enthusiasm for life, just to keep them quiet and conform to societal rules. It particularly bothers me when TEACHERS think they can offer a medical diagnosis based on the fact that a healthy boy can not sit still for 7 hours a day without getting any exercise. Children are not little adults and can not be expected to ‘work quietly’ when they have not had a chance to tire out their bodies, so their brains can concentrate. Medication is mentally castrating the abstract uniqueness out from our children, which will hinder their personality development.
Most boys are not made to stay still. I would even go so far as to say, that a boy who is not moving and fidgeting is obviously sick, sad or having that indecisive moment on if he should run from the zombie monster or attack it. Children say and do what they feel, when the feelings happen. They are taught to curb this instinctive honesty for the sake of decorum, but we have to admit it, we love seeing it an hearing it when it happens. As a parent, there are times you almost burst a blood vessel restraining your laughter and amusement when they use their developing sarcasm to comment on things. There is an unwritten rule that you can;t let them KNOW they are hysterical or you will lose all control.
But think about how funny it is when kids say those little snippets of shocking reality, that are not only clearly on the mark, but delivered with perfect comedic timing. Those are the stories we will share and talk about with a fond smile, for years after it happens. This is how we can gauge actual age appropriate development as kids practice honing the subtitles and nuances of language. Giving them medication, inhibits this. It effectively ties them to their chair until given the order to stand and change locations. It removes their autonomy and limits their ability to choose the correct behaviour for different situations, thus delaying their development. It’s not right that for the sake of convenience, that we medicate otherwise, normal, healthy, active children.
We need to think outside of the traditional schoolroom box. We need to teach kids in the ways they need to learn and it is not a mass produced education system that is geared towards babysitting large numbers of children in an over crowded situation, enabling their parents to both work and not pay for babysitting, like it currently is in the Western world. There are gender differences to how kids learn, we need to respect that. Boys and Girls can each be taught the exact same things, just delivered in different methods. We need to let children move and use that beautiful, endless energy they have. It’s how they learn their limits and abilities.
We have to redesign our communities. I always thought it would be ideal to have every school attached to a retirement facility. They are two segments of the population that appreciate each other. Kids find old people fascinating and Older people are enthralled with little ones. Little kids want to help, and seniors love the help. It takes a little one extra time to accomplish something and Seniors have the patience to allow them to do it themselves. Kids are joyous in expressing their enthusiasm and Older adults have nothing but praise to give for even the smallest of efforts. Children would have the supervision they need and the Seniors would have the companionship they so desperately need as well.
Imagine a child’s playground and garden area where Seniors can see them. Children’s laughter would draw them to the windows or to the yard, like no other activity can. Nothing sounds like a happy child and it brings back memories and feelings of overwhelming love for people and times gone by. If a Senior adult was gardening in the dirt, they would have 20 volunteers offering to ‘help’, it’s the nature of children to be curious and ask questions and what better way to teach. Their attention span would have some flitting off to the next thing about the same time the Senior was tired from the interaction.
We do not live in a segregated vacuum and that is how we have built our communities. We have given children rights but taken away their opportunity to learn through trial, error and consequence. We need to stop medicating and start remembering that being loud, busy, active and disruptive are normal traits for healthy young people. We should be grateful when we see it and not frustrated by it. Society has to let go of this insane idea that well behaved children mean kids that sit endlessly without moving. It’s wrong on every level and will create a dysfunctional generation of adults who have no social skills.
Somewhere along the line we have forgotten that healthy children are active and active children are healthy. Children need less medication and more activity. The adults in their lives need to remember how to be more appreciative of their very brief period of carefree, open directness and let them be funny. It makes for perfect material for future comedians.