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8/7/16blog post

7 things I still don't understand

Question mark There are still so many things that I don’t understand.

1. Why are so many kids diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? Approximately 11 percent of children ages 4-17 are diagnosed with ADD, a rate that has increased 42 percent over the past five years. This is a substantially higher rate than in other countries. I wonder if active kids, particularly boys, are misdiagnosed with this disorder as a way to justify the chemical management of normal behavior.

2. Are kids being overmedicated by well-meaning professionals as a way to pacify parents looking for an easy solution to behavior problems? Medication of children has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. Has the prevalence of mental disorders among children really increased that much? Why don’t more parents seek solutions other than medication for their kids’ problems?

3. Why do parents make their kids the center of their worlds? The results of this approach are generations of narcissistic kids who are ill-prepared to deal with the real world. Relationships built on trust, caring and communication result in people being happy with their lives. It’s hard for self-absorbed children to develop such relationships.

4. Why are parents so concerned about their children’s self-concept? It’s important that we feel good about ourselves, but such feelings come from behaving in ways that are moral, meaningful, and appropriate. Stop being so attentive to how your child is feeling, and pay more attention to how they are behaving.

5. Why do adults abuse kids? In a moment of intense frustration or anger, some parents inadvertently hit and harm a child. That’s understandable, but never acceptable. However, I can’t understand why any adult would intentionally physically or sexually abuse a child.

6. Why are parents so overprotective of their children? I understand that keeping kids safe is our highest priority. However, children need to play outside, settle disagreements on their own, mange difficult relationships with teachers and coaches, and deal with failure.

Life is all about dealing with difficulties and disappointments, not avoiding them. Don’t be too quick to intervene when your youngster gets upset. Allow them the gift of failure, helping them acquire the resiliency skills that will prepare them for life.

7. Why don’t schools teach more about emotional intelligence (EI)? Well-adjusted adults know how to solve problems, control their emotions, understand the feelings of others, and deal with the complexities of interpersonal relationships. These are not “soft skills” that kids should learn at home, but are the essential skills that children need to learn to be successful. Why don’t schools intentionally focus on these skills at every grade level?