Excuse me, but as a former high-school teacher of marketing education, I must take issue with the apparent apathy about ADHD.
Many of our youngsters today who are being medicated for hyper-activity do not need them. This assertion comes from Dr. Leonard Sax, a pediatrician with 25 years experience and author of the book, “The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups.”
Sax asserts that parents have lost their way and have become too soft in their parenting methods, particularly in the past 30 years. Wanting to be respected has given way with wanting to be liked. One of Sax’s first must-do’s for parents of young children (2-5 years old) is to teach them humility. Humble children are open to learning, are respectful and realize that they are part of a larger team that has their best interests at heart. Sax’s second must-do is to require the youngsters to have some household responsibilities. He cites parents of a three-year-old who dusted after being shown how.
Responsibility needs to start early. Families 50 years ago and earlier understood this.
Daniel Goleman’s seminal book on emotional intelligence cited five components of his model. The first three: self-awareness, self-control, and self-motivation.
In his discussion of self-control, he cited The Marshmallow Test being given to kindergartners. A marshmallow was placed in front of each youngster. They were told that the teacher was going to leave the room for a few minutes, and if they could wait until she returned to eat the marshmallow, they would get an additional treat. You guessed it: some kids just could not wait; they popped that sweet into their mouths, smiled devilishly and enjoyed every bite.
Others met the challenge, showed restraint and received a double reward upon the teacher’s return.
Fast-forward 20 years. Some adults today fly off the handle and become angry at the slightest irritation. Reactions could be shouting at the offender in person or road rage actions by a driver who feels violated. These folks, like the marshmallow kids, need some education in how to manage their impulses and emotions. Just reading Goleman’s book was a tonic for this writer.
Prescribed medications, in a large majority of cases, are not needed. Carol Dweck, author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” offers hope for altering the perspectives of youngsters in terms of their own potentials for success. She has developed a growth-mindset workshop with video that shows how the brain changes with learning and how people can develop their abilities at most tasks with coaching and practice.
Being able to concentrate with all one’s faculties is a willful act.
The writer lives in Little River.