Our Explanations of Child Behavior

November 02, 2017

Maybe it’s me.

Maybe it’s because I think back to an era where kids were rarely on medication even if their behavior was a bit off.

Maybe it’s because of the lens through which I see kids.

Parents will have lots of theories about their child’s behavior, often linked to medical explanations.

What I typically hear is an emphasis on the medication as the primary factor in the child’s life.

The refrain goes something like this:

“We adjusted the Vyvanse, but he is still aggressive with his younger sister.”

“My daughter won’t do her work; I don’t understand the Lexipro seemed to be working.’

“The school said Michael was very disrespectful   this week – maybe his Intuniv needs to be changed.’

“Marla’s so unmotivated.  She just wants to do nothing.  It must be the medication wearing off.”

And the beat goes on.  And the beat goes on.

Things I don’t hear very much:

“I know my kid is manipulating us.”

“He’s become addicted to the iPad and we have indulged it.’

“I don’t see her showing empathy – I don’t know if she has a conscience.’

“Maybe the school is not the problem; maybe it’s her attitude.”

“His behavior is alienating other kids – no one wants to invite him to their house or a birthday party.”

I know some of you will get annoyed at me for saying the following but, by and large, kids have choice.    Their choices have built in consequences.

If we buffer kids continually from these consequences there will be no reason for them to learn from their mistakes and try a different approach.

Takeaway Point

It’s not just medication adjustment.

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