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

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.

Comment on this article

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

Notify of

I just read the title to the post on child rearing practices and how it leads to bullying and ADHD and I cringed again!! Not only did I find this site after experienceing my own drama for a few years with a “spath” but during that time period in my life and now after, I gained custody of my nephew due to problems with alcohol, drug use, domestic violence(you name it)and I can tell you first hand how how this four year old is reacting to his initial upbringing. He was born at 28 weeks gestation to an alcoholic mother and father who delved in recreational drugs. Not to mention that there was no structure in their lives to begin with. This child spent the first three months in the hospital while doctors were trying to figure out if he was going to be blind, actually have an intestinal system that would work etc…. He went home to the environment that created him. through God, he had all his senses but did have intestinal issues .When he was 22 months old, I was given custody the first time. I took care of him as my own while “the system” worked to place him back. I got him in the proper daycare, and actually gave this kid the love and stimulus he needed. After 10 months and quite a resounding NO from me, the courts placed this child back in the SAME environment. My hands were tied. Two months shy of a year later my cellphone blows up with calls from the state that there is another issue with my nephew again! And asks me to take him again. His mother was passed out drunk while her boyfriend was stumbling in and out of traffic with him and two police officers happened to be in the right place at the right time, and his actual Father was incarcerated in prison. Within 24 hrs he was back in my custody and structure… This time it was alot different. I placed him back in the same daycare which is in the top 6% in the nation but he had his own agenda. Within 3 months they wanted to kick him out becaue of his behavior. He was hitting, kicking, biting, brusing teachers, AND HE IS 4 YEARS OLD! He was over the top so I sought help and he was diagnosed with ADHD,OppositiInal Defiant Disorder, attachment issues, phonological disorders etc… This kid has issues. Right off the bat, he asked me if he could call me MOM. I said honey, you have a real MOM, but if you want to call me MOM I would love it. And he still does to this day. I HAVE to let his mother and Father visit as long as I am there to supervise. After the visits, he turns into a demon. This child has no clue what to do with the confusion and anger he is dealing with! It is very disheartening to watch him go through this process. He rolls back and forth violently as he goes to sleep. I go in to tell him to stop rolling and he says ” I have to” and I just make sure he rolls with out his covers on his head, because he rolls himself into a cocoon. His days are no different, he is angry angry child and his interest is held on cartoons that provide violence. Which is an ongoing thing for me to police… Sponge Bob will make him want to poke my eyes out. I have him on meds now for ADHD which was difficult to get since he is only four. And after several psychologists appointments and after some soul searching from me, it seems to be working. I didnt want to put him on the meds. But there are two different kids within this child. One on meds that will settle and be docile, and one, that off meds is OUT OF CONTROL! At four he is already barking orders in his broken sentence structure that he cannot complete, when he doesn’t get his way, he destroys things. When I discipline him, he yells, I don’t like you!!!! When he is on his meds, he says, I love you MOMMY, and “thank you” as most normal kids do. but now that he is on meds….he is asking questions about where his MOMMY and DADDY are and every situation I put him he relates that to, Example, I took him to the aquarium… “Where is the sharks Mommy and Daddy?” And he askes me now, “Where is my other Mom?” I do the best I can in being there for him and trying to make the situaton right for him and for him to know that he is loved. The trust is building between he and I, but the “court system” is still working to place him back with his mother. Who only gets a job when the courts make her do so..etc…. and the Father has been arrested twice more since getting out of prison and somehow doesnt seem to be prone to parole violations, and both have even failed drug tests ordered by the custody court and they still set another date giving these parents four years now to do right by this child. This is how it all begins in my opinion. Because if this child is released back to his parents, he will become the bully, he will probably be job security for the court system he is in now when he becomes of age. I am no means saying that I am the ONE to save him. However, I will give him everything in my power that I know best to keep him from that.. Innocence deserves every chance it gets, no matter how many family ties you have to cut to save one child!

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.

1 7 8 9

Send this to a friend