Where Imagination Outshines Memorization

Why the Ritalin Debate Is Asking the Wrong Question: Healing Our Kids’ Soul Fever With Simplicity

Parents across the country know something is wrong. All the hovering, anxiety, medicating, and overscheduling is giving voice to that parental instinct that knows when our kids and family life are in trouble. And it’s true, our kids are in crisis, victims of an undeclared war on childhood, drowning in a sensory tsunami, and because we love them so much, we worry, and we search for solutions, ignoring the voice in our heads telling us that something’s off when we greet our kids every morning with a pill to fix them. Indeed, something is wrong. But it’s not our kids. Our kids are as beautiful, feisty, gifted, and quirky as they have always been. What’s changed is their environment, and the levels of stimulation and stress we expect them to integrate.

In my decades of working with families around the world, I have seen thousands of children’s brilliant personalities — their funny, odd, remarkable, special talents, railroaded by stress, so much so that I came up with this simple equation: Quirk + Stress = Disorder, or what I call a soul or emotion-fever. And every parent already knows how to heal their child from regular, physical fever just as every parent knows how to heal their children’s soul fever.

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