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.
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.