The entirety of this website is dedicated to showing simple, easy things that one can do to be a more effective parent, and to help you raise happy, healthy, competent children. In acting as editor for this site, I’m always trying to point at things you can do. Well, as a quick counterpoint, let’s discuss what absolutely not to do.
Don’t let psychiatrists label your children.
What do I mean by label? Here’s a quick video description:
“Labeling” means that you take the behavior of a child, whether desirable or undesirable, and label that as a “disorder” – one which can then allow your child to be given powerful psychotropic drugs as a “solution” for their behavior.
Labeling of children with mood disorders is, in my opinion, the most evil and insidiously destructive practice that has ever been introduced to the subject of parenting.
Why Psychiatric Labeling of Children = Bad Parenting
First off, let’s agree on one point: no matter what your parenting style is (hands-off, hands-on, super-active, super religious, couldn’t-much-care, etc), the general idea always is to guide your child toward ways that allow them to survive better, and to steer them away from things that hinder survival, are painful, etc. Right?
As such, your job is much like an investigator – you see indicators of something wrong, you investigate to find out what the problem is, and you go about fixing it.
Your 1-year-old is crying. You look, and see a totally full diaper. You change the diaper. Baby stops crying, returns to play.
Your 7-year old yells at you saying, “I HATE MATH!” Throws homework on floor. You investigate, find that he never found out what “multiply” means and is meant to do a page of multiplication homework. You clear it up, and he happily goes about his homework.
Your 2-year old is cranky, throwing stuff on the floor. You look, realize she just wants to go outside & play. You go outside, play, the kid’s mood improves.
When kids are crying, cranky, etc, there’s always something wrong. Kids don’t naturally “cry all the time”. The job of parents is to simply figure out why they’re crying, and fix it.
“Labeling” is an attempt to short-circuit the above job of a parent, and to do two things instead:
Give them a label which somehow “explains” their behavior, and
Allow them to be drugged, so as to make them “manageable”, provide an income source for big pharma, and to reduce the work involved in being a parent to simply making them take their medication.
The practice of labeling basically undermines the job of the parent, reducing it to what usually becomes a 5-minute psychiatric evaluation and subsequent labeling as “bi-polar” or “ADHD”. Drugs like Intuiv or Concerta are marketed at young children. These are kids who aren’t having girlfriend relationship problems or jobsite difficulties – these are kids with simple problems that parents have been solving for thousands of years.
And these drugs are solving a “chemical imbalance problem” that even the drug companies know doesn’t exist. Heck, go check out Concerta’s website – they even say:
“…this medication has a calming effect. While the exact way the drug produces this effect is not known, it is known to affect certain chemicals in the brain…”
The moral of the story is: if you are having a problem with your child, figure out why you’re having it. Your investigation will lead you to any number of solutions – diet, rest, lack of exercise, misunderstandings at school, etc, etc. I guarantee your search will not tell you that your child’s diet has an insufficient quantity of psychotropic drugs.