Over the past week, I have had an opportunity to observe my sister and her partner with their 20-month-old daughter Mika. Mika is a very active, curious and rambunctious child. She is like a little tornado that is always on the move. She needs to be involved in new exciting activities and be exposed to new impressions on a constant basis.
Mika’s parents adore their little girl and are unwavering in their determination to provide for her developmental needs. It’s hard because these two very hard-working adults need to find extra time and energy to invest into their daughter. Mika is fortunate in that her parents are not inclined to pathologize her very active personality and will never strive to make her more comfortable to be around at her own expense. They teach her to be polite and responsible and provide her with a calming routine. It is all done through communicating with her and never through recurring to medication.
Many kids, however, are not nearly as fortunate. Born into a culture of entitlement where many adults see any kind of mild discomfort as a horrible imposition on their freedom, kids are often medicated into compliance with drugs that zombify them and make them easy to handle. The temptation to avoid the hard work of finding ways to channel an active kid’s energies into positive, creative directions by pumping them full of drugs is always there for people raised in the culture of instant gratification.