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Parents Say 'No More' To Zombies!

Aug 17, 2007
I just dropped off the last of my daughter's girlfriends from a very busy play-date. Knowing the typical 'attitude' of a 7-year-old girl, I should have limited the amount of children for the day, but I didn't and, therefore, had a very challenging, exhausting day.

Lauren was jealous of Meagan and 'pouted' most of the time. Kayla wanted to play one thing, Laura another and Shelley just sat there in a daze.... Finally, after a number of 'time-out', I decided to pack all five of them in the car and took them to the movies.

And, I thank God for 'Shrek III' it truly saved my sanity and, actually, was a great movie.

Don't get me wrong, the girls are really good girls, but, like adults, have their own personalities. Similar to planning a party, some personalities mix better than others. Four strong personalities together for an entire day are bound to clash. Add to that an extremely shy, reserved personality and the result spells: d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.

Two of the girls attend the same private school as my daughter. The other two attend public school but that is where their differences end. They all love Hannah Montanna, Spongebob, and roller-blading. They all come from good God-fearing homes, love each other dearly and, most importantly, are only seven-years old.

Yes, they are only children and need to be just that: children.

Delightful as they are, children need to be taught and guided. With love and affirmation there also needs to be boundaries, guidelines and, yes, sometimes punishment. Children need to understand that there are consequences with bad behavior. Children should not and cannot raise themselves. Children need adults who are willing to 'put in the time' to teach and guide them toward adulthood.

In the same breath, children should not be suppressed. Within every child is incredible uniqueness that deserves to be developed. It is unfair for adults to expect a child to develop into a clone of himself or herself. Children have their own personalities and we haven't a right to rob them of their individuality.

Yet we rob our children daily through the very thing that most of us are against: drugs.

Before I placed my daughter in a private school, about 60% of the children in her public school were diagnosed with either ADHD or ADD, including my daughter.

Within my daughter's first month of kindergarten, the school's psychologist had contacted me for an emergency meeting. What I learned within that meeting not only startled me but also frightened me. Due to the fact that my daughter has an extremely active and creative imagination, the psychologist felt it best that Laura begin weekly counseling as well as be put on Ritalin.

Huh? I thought my Laura was a pretty well adjusted child--actually a lot more intelligent than I was at her age and now they are telling me something is wrong with my baby? How can this be? What is the problem?

The 'problem', I soon discovered, was that my Laura's imagination was more advanced than the school felt was appropriate. Apparently, my daughter was asked to share a fictitious story with her class, which she did. The 'problem' began when her story included 'a trip to Paris where she and mommy were walking on a cobblestone street and met famous painters and poets and learned about their lives'. And that was the 'problem'?

Within one week I took my daughter out of that school and put her in the private school she presently attends. Ironically, everything has been fine and my daughter has remained on the honor roll. Furthermore, much to my satisfaction, Laura is affirmed for her imagination and creativity.

Sadly, however, I have spoken with many other mothers who have succumbed to the system and, unfortunately, their children have become zombies.

The school called one mother because her daughter is too shy, another because the child doesn't follow instructions well enough and another because the child misses 'mommy' too much. The list goes on but the result is always the same: put the child on drugs.

The eyes betray these children. Compare a child on Ritalin to that of one who is not and within the Ritalin child you will see emptiness and apathy. Shyness is not an excuse to put anyone on drugs and aggression should be handled with discipline yet we 'are not allowed'to discipline our children. We 'cannot punish' our children and more and more children are gaining the control over their parents. Why?

Because, unfortunately, some parents have given away their rights unknowingly.

I have recently read that Dr. Robert Spitzer, the psychiatrist who had identified ADD in the '70s and '80s, has admitted that many children are not ill at all and have been misdiagnosed.

Dr Spitzer, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in New York, now says the classification led to many people being diagnosed as medically disordered when their mood swings and behavior were simply normal feelings of happiness and sadness. In a BBC2 documentary series 'he Trap', which airs this Sunday, Dr. Spitzer states that between 20 and 30 per cent of mental disorder diagnoses may be incorrect.

Huh? Is that right. Since his initial diagnosis, thousands upon thousands have been diagnosed with ADD, poor attention ability, and ADHD, the element of hyperactivity as early as five years of age. The drug most often prescribed to these children is Ritalin.

'By and large the treatments for these disorders don't have serious side effects,' Dr. Spitzer further explained. 'I mean, some do, [have serious side effects] but they're not that serious, whereas the failure to treat can often be very hard on the child and on the family.' He acknowledged that some parents put pressure on doctors to diagnose ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and prescribe drugs.

'We don't know to what extent that's been happening inappropriately,' he added.

Obviously, I am not a psychiatrist but I am a parent who knows that parenting is not an easy job. True is the clich that, unfortunately, 'there are no manuals for raising a child' but there is instinct and there is parental judgment.

Although mental illness is a reality for some, I believe that there is such a thing as becoming over-educated and that 'getting back to basics' is what our children really need. I believe that with less time in front of television and more communication and fresh air our children will benefit tremendously. I believe that parenting should happen within the homes and that academics should be taught in the schools. I believe that parents should regain their rights for the future of our children and the future of our society.
About the Author
Judi Lynn Lake successfully runs her own advertising agency which handles everything from logos, branding, videos and websites while continues to work closely with self-published authors from design to promotion. To learn more visit http://www.judilake.com
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