Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cheap, Fast, Out of Control

Our friends who crossed the Pacific with us might remember the cherubic little one- and two-year-old who lived on Pelagic with us at the time.

Well, that was yesterday's Elias.  Today's Elias seems to be a little, well, high on testosterone for someone who's only four.

Lately Alisa and I have noticed a pattern developing in our interactions with the little guy.  We ask him nicely to stop doing some incredibly disruptive thing.  Then we ask nicely again.  Then we ask nicely a third time.  Then we yell.  Then he throws a completely nuclear fit.  We (well, I) scream.  Afterwards we wonder how it all went so wrong.

(Don't get the idea this happens all the time.  But it does happen!)

It's really just the common lot of parenthood, and we're blundering our way through it just like everyone else.  But I have noticed how much my mood at a particular moment plays into these interactions, and whether they escalate or dissipate.  And that, logically enough, has gotten me thinking about the current state of our funny little society's ethnopharmacology.

Apparently it's become over-the-top popular in America to feed kids behavior-modifying drugs.

I'm starting to think that this approach is just another way that our lazy society rewards the guilty.

If anyone needs a some big pharma magic to get through childrearing, shouldn't the parents get first dibs?

It's just an idea...


Elias and his mates.  Australia above all is a place where it is easy to make friends.

Alisa and Eric the morning they flew up to the U.S. consulate in Melbourne.  He's now officially American.


  1. You'll be glad to know that I don't know a single child on Ritalin or other attention span altering drugs, but I only speak for the kids at the elementary school in which I work. It's not as common as your might think as parents are becoming knowledgeable about the drawbacks of such medication. The teachers I work with schedule in 3-4 short breaks instead of one marathon recess during the school day, and understand more about modifying the classroom to fit the needs of the active student. Maybe that is what is so magical about Kodiak!

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  3. Hey Sara - Good point. As I wrote that post I was wondering what % of US kids are actually given behavioral meds. Maybe it's not as many as conventional wisdom suggests? I don't know. But I still think we should change things around & medicate the parents instead of the kids...

  4. Come on, it's not that popular. It's just popular to think it's popular. And this is coming from an honest-to-goodness east coast based practicing pediatrician.