- Parents are too undisciplined and create mirror image children...
- Parents are too ignorant to provide an acceptable level of accountability or training for their children.
Innocently, my friend who successfully raised wonderful neuro-typical children posted a picture on Facebook of a wide leather belt with the words emblazoned across the photo, "The original ADHD medicine". The obvious implication is that good ole discipline will "cure" all that ails the ADHD child. The joke hit me as being about as funny as racist humor. It just isn't. Period. Ever.
We know what it feels like to be “that” family.
For families who are raising children with authentic neuro-psychiatric differences, judgment is cast upon both the child and parents ad nauseam. The children are "misbehaving brats" and the assumption is that either:
Families raising children with hidden disabilities deal with the added challenges of child rearing AND the unrighteous judgments made against them. Judgment isolates families and undermines every ounce of support a typical family may enjoy facing normal parenting hardships. The net result is that families who actually need the most understanding and support, actually receive the least.
For the countless re-posters of the Internet meme, don't think for a minute that such "humor" made at the expense of struggling families is throwing Big Pharma under the bus. Big Pharma is not listening. But someone is listening. All the families who are in your sphere who are dealing with neurology issues in their own homes are listening. And your message produces bad fruit.
For the parent who is still ignorant of the reality of neurology’s impact on behavior and self control in their children, judgment may compel them to exert even more ineffectual pressure on their misbehaving child in the form of harsher and hasher discipline culminating in abuse. Discipline will never cure neurology.
For the parent who is aware that the challenges they face are resultant from a hidden disability, judgment through insensitive jesting may hurt and isolate them further.
I fail to see the humor in either of these outcomes.
Two of our three children have Tourette's Syndrome as well as a few other co-morbidities, inherited neuropsychiatric disorders. I'm still happily married, love life and want to share encouragement bringing hope, humor and insight into the process of raising children who are different.