I can’t take it anymore.
I can tell you with certainty that if we had stayed with public schools we would have been pressured to drug our kids.
And I might have buckled… If I did not discover that each of my kids are individuals who have personalities.
I decided my kids were not to be drug experiments of the medical industry. NONE of these drugs have a long track history and we don’t know how it will affect those who take it. Watching my youngest brother go through the different prescriptions and listening to how it made him feel… It is not what I want for my children.
Now there maybe a time and place for ADHD meds and I can not speak to everyone’s situation… but I can guarantee it is not something I would even begin to consider for a toddler. You’re tampering with a child whose brain & body is developing, without even investigating the true nature of the disruption!
What happened to seeing and appreciating their natural energy?
Oh I get it.
You thought being a parent would be a walk in the park. Or maybe you have a really “craptastic” kid that keeps you up all hours of the night. You thought the colic symptoms would disappear, and a couple years after trying “everything” you became desperate. It’s easy to turn to a quick fix. While hearing about 10,000 toddlers being misdiagnosed makes me weep… I can understand being caught up in the angst of it all.
Trust me. I envisioned having children who had a similar learning style. Instead I inherited a pack of hyenas and a wakeup call to what having children is really like. We went through a phase where the twins would keep us up all hours of the night. And by phase I mean from their terrible 2’s through the crazy 6’s… The craziness came to an end about the same time my father finally told me his secret to sleeping through the night… He had put my twin brothers into separate rooms
… thankfully we began to sleep better at night.
Inviting the girls to join us on our homeschooling adventure allowed us an opportunity to get to know them. Really know them. It challenged all the parenting techniques I knew to be true. At least everything that worked for my oldest. It made me ask honest questions about myself. Then Lil Man came along and threw us all for another loop. The fits. The stubbornness. The never-ending screams. It wasn’t until he was 4 that he became old enough to talk and establish a two way communication that life became better.
So I know a little something about being driven crazy by your kids. Your world is falling apart and there is this immense pressure to portray the perfect child and a perfect life.
Instead of facing the truth. That we have no idea how to be parents. That we have no clue what to do. We turn to a quick fix. In reality the headaches are not over. The doctor appointments never stop. You always have to treat the next symptom… but we don’t stop and wonder about the root cause. We trust the med because it brings a temporary happiness… and robs us of so much more.
Going back to the 10,000 toddlers in question. The disgust I have is the pressure that schools and CPS put on parents to get an ADHD or even a biopolar diagnosis. The medication comes with side effects as the trade off for a “manageable” child. Is proven to be short term and most benefits dissipate as they become teenagers. All that effort and we haven’t stopped to provide an outlet for all that energy… or learned how to flow with it.
And for me it brings me back to my own kindergarten reports. Actually In my treasure chest from my youth I find report cards throughout elementary school… each said I quickly caught up (being a military child meant changing schools mid semester and adapting to a new curriculum) and then my grades fell because I was easily distracted. Which was a big shocker to me. I only remembered praise for my achievements. By all accounts I was a C average student until High school.
I must have been surrounded by teachers and parents who allowed me to be a child.
But maybe. Had the drugs we had today been available then… maybe this story would be different.
Sometimes keeping up with my minions is like being pulled in 4 different directions. Taking a moment for myself is very important for their survival.
I know. Having a child to raise is a dream come true. Once they are here to stay there can be a disillusionment. It’s not always what we think life with a child will be like. The truth is Life will never be the same. We only have one pass at it and we must live with our choices. If I can do nothing else as their mother, it is to provide a safe place in the world where they feel loved… for who they are.
Figuring what works for each one is sometimes a mystery waiting to be solved.
And somewhere in the U.S. there are 10,000 toddlers who deserve the time and energy to be figured out…