How American child rearing practices lead to ADHD and bullying

More and more children are being diagnosed with disorders such as ADHD and autism. Dr. Gabor Maté of Canada says that the root cause is that the nurturing environment necessary for proper child development has collapsed in America, leading to children who are emotionally detached and have difficulty controlling their impulses. This 60-minute interview is fascinating—be sure to watch it all.

Or, to save time, just scroll down below the video options to read the transcript. (Thanks to Skylar for the suggestion.)

Dr. Gabor Maté on ADHD, bullying and the destruction of American childhood, on DemocracyNow.org.

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

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82 Comments on "How American child rearing practices lead to ADHD and bullying"

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I haven’t watched this yet, but the title alone brought up some strong responses.

Why lump ADHD and bullying? Bullying is definitely not new. ADHD, on such a wide scale, is. We’re just starting to take notice of bullying, as a society. When I was growing up, in the ’70s, it was “fight your own battles.” A terrible policy. I remember being subjected to violence and humiliation at school as a matter of course, and all this led to sexual harassment later on. At 16, I finally just slugged one guy, and I still think it’s funny.

I think ADHD is no mystery at all. It isn’t just disconnected parenting — and I don’t think all kids with ADHD lack stimulation and love from their families. I was sharing with a 25-year-old on the train the other day why I thought his generation was committing suicide and getting diagnosed with hyperactivity, and the list is endless: more cesarean and otherwise violent births; increased vaccinations stuffed with mercury and other crap; sugar and thousands of other additives on the “kids’ menu”; sanitary environments for play instead of immune-building mud patches; kids’ cartoons that (by law) have to provide a violent or stimulating moment every few minutes to prevent the hypnotic trance of color TV; video games (ditto); bombardment with more information than any generation in history, anywhere; parents’ big expectations for overachievement (spurred on by the competitive shortage of good schools); and overprotectiveness (not one single kid — ever — has been poisoned or cut by Halloween candy, and the days of just “running outside to play” are beset with fantasies of kid-snatchers).

Then, inexplicably, we send kids raised in unreal bubbles off to college with an admonishment to “be good.” College promptly fills their heads with an idealism of social equality and justice and so on while they watch nothing but injustice and corruption unfold all around them. Just exactly why AREN’T you supposed to consider suicide when you’re planning a career in social justice law practice, studying Marxist economics and exploring radical feminism while watching the financial meltdown on TV, and the midterm grades just came in and your grad school application is screwed? (One kid told me he knew that law practice was the only way to make enough money not to starve. What??!) What kind of relationships are you going to develop, living on this razor’s edge? Pity on any kid who CAN’T compartmentalize his brain, who DOES connect the dots. Survival is against him.

Bear in mind that a film called “The Black Swan” just came out, showing the lovely Natalie Portman as a ballerina mutilating herself for her art. (She unseats another prima ballerina played by over-30 shoplifting queen Winona Ryder; and so the torch is passed.) All the kids were downloading it before it even hit the theaters and raving about it over Christmas break.

End of rant! But my God, what kind of a monster nation doesn’t see all this? Is still blaming all the mommies for being bad? Can’t just reach out to young adults and ask them what their experience is like?

Yeesh. Pant, pant. Sigh.

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