Have you seen the article swimming around Facebook about how French children don't have ADHD, because, you know, French people are better parents, yada, yada, yada.
I would link to it, but I still haven't figured out how to have two screens open on my almost year old Macbook. Manual? What's that? If you are confused, google it. You know, if you are even reading this rant.
Only- Facebook Friend, who I truly only know through Facebook, posted the article this morning along with a lot of other posts that let us know what a great mother she is now that she has a six month old and has truly mastered the art of parenting. Good for her. Such optimism. STFU. Please.
I wrote a pretty hastily put together reply that went something like this:
Until you walk in my shoes, don't judge.
I told her I agreed many children in the US are misdiagnosed and overmedicated without looking into other underlying causes of the behavior. As a teacher, I have filled out numerous forms from different doctors and stated my opinion in black sharpie about how I don't believe Brian, Jason, Adam, Peyton, Morgan, or Chris have anything other than a busy personality/loud voice/zest for life and have had said opinion not even matter when Brian, Jason, Adam, Peyton, Morgan, and Chris all came back the next week sleeping at their desks until the meds wore off mid-afternoon. I get that argument. What I don't get is how now ADHD is a fake illness that would mysteriously go away if I'd only stand up and actually be a good parent.
I invite any of these people, writing any of these "articles" to come to my house any given day and see our non-ADHD.
As I typed to my Only-Facebook friend, I let her know that since I was
Please don't tell me my child has learned that this behavior is acceptable. Not only has it never, ever been, but he was punished for this particular behavior this morning. Go figure, I disciplined my child. I took away his DS and put him in his room. When he started destroying the things in his room and then kicking marks into the door, I put him outside. In the cold and rain. His therapist recommended this because unless he runs out onto the highway, he is probably less likely to hurt himself (or us) out there. He stood there kicking our glass door until he realized his 12 minutes wouldn't start until he stopped because that is the way it has always been.
You know no matter how you deal with your children anymore, it's wrong to someone.
My neighbors and my mother believe we should put on the kid gloves when dealing with Jacob because HIS BRAIN there is SOMETHING WRONG! OMG! Baby him! Love him! Ignore that! HE HAS THE ADD! He can't HHHEEELLLPPP it. I disagree. I figure the police won't care if he has THE ADD when they find him destroying some property somewhere just because he feels like it and his meds haven't started working or, which is what I am sure will happen when I am not there to enforce it, he will just not take it.
I detest giving my child medications. I worry each day that I am ruining his liver, his kidneys, shoot, maybe even his brain, but if you want to see what will happen if I don't, come here every morning between 6-7:30. You may want some medication yourself after that. If I didn't teach preschool I would probably take up drinking. Yes. That early.
Jacob's official diagnosis is severe ADHD. He has some Aspergers tendencies but they won't add that to his "stuff". He goes to school at 9 am and until I told the teachers he had "this", they didn't know. Of course, I listed it on all seven first-day papers, but like everyone else, the probably figured, Ah, bad parenting when they read it. One day he decided to peel his patch off and spit his pill onto the floor just to make me mad, even though, I wasn't mad because I didn't know anything about it until the emails started coming in. Those teachers thought he was under the influence of drugs. LOL. That's what happens when he ISN'T on drugs. Does this make them a bad teacher because they can't handle him? No. He has ADHD. For reals. What do you know.
Stupid articles saying that French parents are superior because they have routines, discipline more, and feed their kids better is very demeaning to American parents. Don't lump me into the American bad parent just because my child has ADHD. I am not a super parent, and I don't try to be. I don't have the time or energy for that, but I do the best I can with the hand I've been dealt. Someone, though, will read this article, hear about Jacob's ADHD, and naturally assume, well, I don't work hard enough and I am lazy with my kids because this author stated that I don't discipline, so therefore, she's a bad mother, so I and my kids will need to distance myself from them, because, that's a bad family right there. OR, and I already get so much of this, let me tell you what you should be doing to make it all better. If you just do THIS, then all of your problems would go away. I will help you to be a good mother, because, OMG, you aren't doing so hot.
I have a child with ADHD. It's more than just getting out of his chair during class or wiggling during criss-cross applesauce time. It is real. It is hard. It is sad. It is bad enough to deal with it without all of the judgemental "authors" out there trying to make us out to be the bad guys. I didn't give this to my child. I didn't make him this way. There is nothing I can do, that I haven't already tried, that is going to make it go away. Even the medicines quit working after a while and they don't completely get rid of some of the behaviors.
How hard is it just to accept others? French, American, Swahili, whatever. I say if the children are still alive at the end of the day, it's a good day. You've done your job. Good for you.