I have some small concerns about parenting differences between my style and the grandies‘ methods. I want to avoid being really snarky or judgemental- they are delightful, amazingly sweet people with the most pure and warm love for their kids and grand kids. There are some small lifestyle things that just don’t jive with my desire to improve my life and make steps toward a crunchier Family of Boo. Their diet and TV habits are the biggest things. (They also clean with the most powerful germ fighting action supercharged chemical products they can find, and I just found out they’d sprayed some flea killer on the carpet which “says it’s OK after it dries.” Ergh.) Anyway, they are great people but they don’t question the Wal-Mart ethos of our culture like I try to do. My point here is not to come off as a pretentious fuck, but to illustrate my point that we have different approaches.
This is why I was overjoyed when I talked to Papaw about my nephew Bren’s new diagnosis of ADD. Papaw is unthrilled about the idea of medicating him, and given my resources (i.e. high speed internet access, kickass Google-Fu, and occupational therapists and behavioral specialists at work who depend on my expertise to deliver their phone messages correctly) I volunteered to look for non-drug treatment options.
The flipside of my excitement is a cynical feeling that Papaw will completely dismiss my ideas when I tell him that Bren needs way, way, way less screen time with both TV and gaming, some diet modifications, and a lot of really hands on creative parenting. He just is so resistant to change, as evidenced by the whole ice cream debacle. In a nutshell for those who didn’t read the old mommy blog: Skinny kid, nurse practitioner suggests ice cream in with milk in sippy cup, Roxy freaks out, discusses wish for Emsy’s healthy eating with Papaw and he scoffs that we’ll have to change our diets too then, Roxy responds: Um, duh? We’re all fatasses!
I don’t know… it’s not like I don’t have enough mommy worries for my own Boue, but Bren just needs something to jump start his little life. He just turned 10. He lives mostly at the grandies‘ with a lot of time at his mom’s. His mom and dad (brother of Bu, whom I’ll call Chaz) were pretty young when he was born and broke up very shortly after. Chaz lives, in theory, with the grandies, but he doesn’t spend the quantity or quality of time with Bren that the kid wants/needs, in my judgemental and biased opinion. Bren’s been diagnosed with OCD and anxiety in the past. I just adore the child. He is so cool, so smart and witty. I see my teen and twenties self in him, and it kills me to imagine that darkness and doubt in a ten year old.
Gods… anyway, just got carried away explaining myself to death. And now I’ll just skip to the relevant part:
I believe in treating all illnesses in the least invasive and “medical” way that is effective. (For example, my mild depression/moderate anxiety probably be OK with exercise, light, and herbs; but if I get my butt in gear to do that stuff and see no improvement, I’ll try the birth control or even SSRI’s again.) I know that mental illnesses of all kinds seem to be pandemic in our (my) society, and I question whether this might be a symptom of an “illness” or a failing at a cultural level- something like nature deficit disorder only I’d frame it in spiritual terms. I think that mental disorders are both under and over diagnosed– I suppose it’s more succinct to just say that the whole field is terrifically misunderstood. I also believe that a humongous ginormous colossal number of ADD cases are complete bullshit. I think the symptoms are real but to medicalize the less than extreme cases is just pop psych being so fucking in love with itself it has to classify a different and fascinating personality pattern as a disease.
So, that out of the way, I’ll get to the really, actually, unambiguously relevant part:
Most of you are parents so a good number of you might at some point have to deal with ADD or similar personalities. When I’m finished being research girl and have sufficiently willowed some solutions for coping with ADD without drugs, I’ll share. Might help somebody, and at the very least will help me keep my links in a central location. So. Part two in a li’l bit.
I just had a brain wave and decided I’ll write this up in article form and submit it to Crazy Hip Blog Mamas. They’re wanting more participatory members and I’m wanting to practice writing more purposefully in case I decide to really try to blog for money. (Elsewhere, that is, I need my pure expression, geek-out-with-the-baby-bliss-&/or-angst outlet:)