Medicating Our Children


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Difficulty paying attention, sitting still, remembering things, and following instructions are some of the symptoms used to diagnose a child with attention deficit disorder (ADD). This disorder is typically treated with a stimulant drug, Ritalin, which has a calming and even lethargic effect on children. A child who is taking Ritalin runs the risk of forming an addiction to it and may experience harmful side effects such as loss of appetite and loss of interest in activities he/she usually enjoys. This raises the question, is it better for a child to be lethargic and unenthused than to be hyperactive and disruptive? While our society stresses that children should be well mannered, calm, and manageable by adults, it is natural for some children to have more energy than other children and most adults. Some parents may argue that Ritalin is helpful or necessary for their children to live normal lives. I agree that the drug may help parents more easily handle hyperactive children, but administering a drug may be a poor solution to children behaving like children. Instead of dangerously drugging our future generations against normal childhood tendencies, we should focus on helping them use their energy and imaginations to lead productive lives. Megan SiefkesSophomore, Psychology Major104 N. Veterans St. Flandreau, SD 57028605-864-8962