Rise in Ritalin Due to School System and Supernanny-style Parenting


As the mother of a boy prescribed Ritalin, and a counsellor for many in a similar boat, I find the following article offensive and ill-informed.




My opinion: that the vast majority of parents are angst-ridden about using this drug but are encouraged to get a diagnosis by teachers who want their kids to behave better in the classroom, and by society who judges them for having high-energy kids.  Often they try Supernanny-style discipline, which only makes the issue worse.   Are these kids challenging?  Sure (I have the grey hairs to prove that) but is there something medically wrong with them?  Absolutely not.  They are curious, high-energy, and have no problems holding their attention when they are interested in something.  No deficit there.  This is where school fails them – it tries to numb them into submission rather than making things more interesting for them.  Of course, with 30 kids in the class and one teacher how on earth could school make things interesting for everyone?  An impossible task.


I have seen first-hand in my own home, and close-up with other families how these children (and all children for that matter) thrive when they are parented with less ’discipline’ and the focus is on connection.  And, of course, if they are able to be homeschooled even better.


Chaley-Ann Scott

About Chaley-Ann Scott

Chaley-Ann Scott is a parenting author, sociologist, counsellor, and mother-of-four. She writes widely on parenting and education for various publications, and is the author of The Shepherdess; A Guide to Mothering without Control.


3 thoughts on “Rise in Ritalin Due to School System and Supernanny-style Parenting”

  1. I’m confused as to whether you’re a mom whose child was prescribed ritalin and you agree, combining medication with good parenting or whether your child was prescribed ritalin and you took an alternative approach of homeschool and good parenting? It was unclear to me from your commentary.

  2. I don’t think the commentary is about her children so much as it is a commentary about the school system and how they force things on the kids instead of working with them. It’s about the overworked teachers who think they have to “control” high energy kids instead of just “directing” that same energy into productive, meaningful days at school.
    I work with people with disabilities and this is one of the things I need to do most of the time. I direct people’s energy more than I make them do what I want. It’s far more effective, less stressful for me and teaches the person something about life that they wouldn’t have got if I had made them do what I want. It may take more time, but when a lesson is learned, it sticks far better if I don’t force it. I believe this is the same for teachers dealing with kids who have “ADHD” or some other high energy kid who won’t sit down and be quiet.

  3. The problem I feel is that in many cases in fact I would say most children particularly Boys are diagnosed with ADHD and a long list of other dubious problems that are deemed to require medicating the kid when in fact lack of dicipline of the right kind and a firm understanding of thee many factors that affect the education of both Boys and Girls would yield far better results.
    The damage this has done to many kids especially.Boys is incalculable often the home life patterns and school are the problem and simply a lack of understanding regarding the dicipline and education of children.
    I firmly believe at least from my experience in The UK that our schools are often not geared towards the education of Boys particularly our state schools I was very hyper kid as many boys are at school and was treated with valium at a very young age the result being I could hardly keep my eyes open let alone learn in my early schooldays the damage being done today to many school children both male and female makes me really angry at times in many cases the real problems these kids have is not rocket science and its not hard to remedy them without resorting to drugs of any kind I firmly believe the use of drugs on kids today is a result of bad parenting and teaching and that very few kids meed to be prescribed drugs.

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