When our daughters were growing up, they were good friends with two boys of about the same age who went to our church. The children often visited each other’s homes for play dates and we got to know them very well. Their parents are solid, respectable, well-liked members of the community. The mother teaches math at the local high school and is one of those rare breed of teachers I wish could be cloned in every public school.
Their younger son (I’ll call him John) was a wild child. He was antsy, restless, full of energy, and had a hard time paying attention in class because he couldn’t sit still. He was impulsive and lacked judgment. He was below grade-level in reading because he preferred to be outside playing. In short, he fit the bill perfectly for the dreaded condition of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
Even I had my doubts about John. He was just so – active. Whenever we had John and his brother over to play with our girls, he was always the one impulsively jumping in puddles or swinging from tree branches. My daughters tell a story about visiting John when he was about 8. Sitting on the couch watching a movie with the other children, John had a juice box. Suddenly without any warning, he shouted “Three – two – one – blastoff!” and forcefully flattened his juice box between his hands. The juice spurted through the straw so fast it slammed up to the ceiling and then rained down on the four children sitting on the couch, staining clothes and upholstery.
We still laugh over that incident, but it typified the impulsive nature of John’s personality. He seemed incapable of focusing, of sitting still (even while eating), of using age-appropriate judgment about a situation. I’d never seen anything like it, and I grew up with three brothers.
Over and over again, people urged his parents to give the boy Ritalin to calm him down and help him focus in school. And over and over again his parents refused, absolutely refused. “He’s just a boy,” his mother confidently said. Having spent 20 years teaching high school boys (and girls) in a classroom setting, this woman knew kids. In fact, I think one of the primary reasons John didn’t end up on Ritalin – despite getting into trouble in elementary school – was because his mother was a teacher, and the school system couldn’t bully her into drugging her own son.
So are hyperactive boys like John truly afflicted with ADHD? The answer seems to be “no.”
There are some boys – or girls, for that matter – with decided neurological disorders that result in inappropriate behaviors, but an inability to focus in school is not necessarily an indicator. Frankly, it’s just easier to drug kids, especially boys. The Daily Bell notes, “Some schools end up harassing parents who do not comply with their recommendations to drug their kids. Some parents are not well-informed and take schools’ advice, wrongly assuming it is scientific.”
This same Daily Bell article states the obvious: “Some children are better at paying attention than others. Some can cope with, or even enjoy, a school classroom setting. Some kids have more energy than others. Some are good at following directions, and some are easily distracted. But just because a classroom is not a good environment for many children does not mean they have a disorder. They may have an Attention Deficit because they are bored. They may he Hyperactive because they are cooped up and forced to sit still at a desk. But this does not constitute a Disorder. What happened to the belief in the uniqueness of a child? Aren’t they told they don’t have to fit in? And then if the factory school system doesn’t work for them, they have a disorder. Instead of treating children like individuals, schools and parents act like they have no other choice but to let drugs make the behavioral adjustments. How sad that there is more willingness to drug kids to make them fit in, instead of changing the system, or being attentive to individual needs.”
So why now, in modern times, are boys suddenly afflicted with this newfangled disorder? Frankly, they’re not. It’s just that boys have less opportunity to vent their excessive energy in societally approved ways. In generations past, boys would be working active jobs or engaging in active games. Now kids are pacified by electronics and it’s “too dangerous” to let them play outside (besides, they might get their clothes dirty). For hyperactive kids like John, the eternal requirement to “sit still and behave” is simply impossible.
Because active little boys have a hard time going against their own nature, they’re told they’re bad. Personally, I think ADHD is just a backlash against boys.
The very existence of ADHD “as a legitimate illness is questionable, given the fact that diagnosing a person with ADHD does not involve any sort of scientific testing,” notes a Psychiatry News article. “Even those in the medical community who claim it involves abnormal brain activity must admit that brain scans are not used to diagnose a person with ADHD, and this is a very big problem. Nowhere is this issue more pressing than in the public school system, where experts have voiced concerns that students are being diagnosed with ADHD simply as a matter of convenience.”
Correct. Being a boy has become a problem. Public education is now firmly in the hands of feminists, who have decided boys should be like girls. They’ll forcibly make them like girls by drugging them into submission, if they have to. They view the instinctive rough-and-tumble, smash-and-bang physical nature of boys as the ultimate evil.
But boys shouldn’t have to apologize for being boys.
It’s been noted again and again how the one-size-fits-all nature of school classrooms serve girls far better than boys, where of necessity children are processed (taught) in the most efficient manner possible – efficient for the school, that is. But kids learn in different ways. Some learn visually; some learn hands-on; and some learn kinesthetically. John was clearly a kinesthetic learner.
Thanks to the influence of his parents, this boy was never drugged for the crime of being a boy. Today he’s in college studying civil engineering and is a talented trombone player. He has a wide circle of friends and is well-liked.
Parents, please be like John’s mother and father. Sometimes it’s easier to go with the words of modern “experts” rather than the tools of common sense that are based on thousands of years of family experience. Let your boys be boys, and “bring them up in the way they should go.” That’s the best way to turn a boy into a man.