Medicine has come a considerable distance in the past century. If you’ve got a cough, there’s a pill for that. If you have a headache, just pop in some Advil. Now, doctors are trying to add low test scores to the list of things a prescription can solve.
The problem with this is that there’s no such thing as a pill that improves your test scores.
Doctors have been prescribing Adderall and other ADD and ADHD medicines to children who need an extra boost in their classroom performance, but the actuality is that they are effectively faking diagnoses to satisfy parents who feel their child needs an extra push.
Similar to the way that a square-shaped block does not fit into a circle-shaped hole, some children do not fit into traditional education systems very well. If this is the case, prescribing an ADHD pill to a child without the actual condition seems to miss the point. Doctors are essentially throwing a square-shaped pill at children who have circle-shaped needs.
Even if a pill was specifically designed for children who simply need a little extra focus, the situation would still be utterly abhorrent.
Imagine a world where every possible problem could be solved by popping a pill. A four-month-old baby girl starts to cry and her weary mother force feeds her a pill to simmer her down, rather than cradling her to sleep.
Is this the sort of world that anybody really wants to live in? Certainly not, for such a world misses the point entirely.
In that world, children are treated as problems to be solved, rather than young men and women to be raised. If our dog soils the carpet, we don’t take it out to the backyard and shoot it, but instead attempt to train it to use the bathroom in the proper way. The reasoning behind this is that we care about our dog as a living creature. We care about it in ways beyond how it is inconveniencing us at a specific moment in time.
Medicine is being used to achieve a goal that in many cases could be accomplished with basic parenting skills. This certainly isn’t to say that ADD and ADHD are purely fictional conditions—just that many parents likely consider it easier to resign to the “fact” that their child is mentally unreachable, and let science take over where they couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort.
It is often said that the TV has taken over the job of parenting in modern households. Instead of being attentive to their children, some mothers and fathers just plop their children in front of a tube and let them be entranced into silence by all the flashing lights and pretty colors.
If this medical trend continues, it’s entirely likely that pills will be the parents of the future. If this happens, what will we be able to say about the quality of children being raised?
We will have traded actual parenting, imparting of life lessons, loving care and wisdom for a generation of drugged-up zombies who were taught how to behave in society by a pill bottle.
Children who are using prescription drugs unnecessarily may be exposed to some side effects, but currently there is little information pertaining to anything specific. Child neurologists have stated that not much is known when it comes to prescription abuse and its effect on a brain’s developmental stages.
It seems a tad absurd to put the development of our children’s brains at risk just because it’s “easier.” There’s a proper place for pills like Adderall; they belong with children who legitimately suffer from ADD and ADHD. That being the case, we shouldn’t allow these children with legitimate mental conditions to be used as an excuse by parents looking to cut corners.
Maybe some folks just need to take some pep pills and step their parenting game up a notch.