In our school system, there is virtually no room for children who are a little bit different to most kids – perhaps with some more open schools as a positive exception. We have developed drugs that can suppress the attention deficit symptoms, but I wonder whether the cause of it is sought. DSM V is underway and it promises a multitude of ailments that people may suffer from. But the thing it actually does, is only to bring together some of the more specific behaviors and experiences these people have and label them as an ailment. Simultaneously, the broad indexing makes it possible to diagnose virtually every adult human being with one of the diseases because it contains a lot of normal human behavioral patterns.
ADHD medications won’t solve the problem; it will only mask the symptoms. Children are perhaps quieter on Ritalin, but it can make them senseless, dull and docile. The question is whether we want to harm our children this way, for a substantial part of our human experience lays precisely in the space in which we may face our emotions – even though we know how horrible it can be at times. If children do not learn to deal with their emotions, they’ll raise their children the same incomplete way. That, while much can be won if we as adults learn that we still have much to learn in terms of emotions too. It can be a healing experience if you allow yourself to open up. Children are already open; let’s allow our children to be open so that they can exhibit this beautiful trade every day.
I know people around me who have been diagnosed with ADHD and I have done some research on psychology through personal interest. By doing this I came to know a little more about ADHD and what it actually means. From a more philosophical / spiritual perspective I have come to realize that ADHD does not necessarily mean that a child has to be given medication and be monitored by authority; although I agree that in some cases medication still is the best option.
This brings me to what I see as the real problem. The problem is that we don’t really know ourselves (anymore). Instead, we live under the influence of many masks. This creates a life in which we are constantly looking for views and opinions from other people to create a self image. We shape ourselves to the (ideal) image we think other people have of us. Disconnected from our real selves, we live in our ego and the connection with the child in us is lost. And we are the same people who think that we know how the new generation of children is to be raised. But perhaps this is not the same as with previous generations. This generation might have completely different needs compaired to ours. We might have to consider creating a more suitable form of education which is consistent with the spirit of this new generation of children. We would have to ask the children themselves. What do they want for education, what do they want to learn and know and what do they find important in life? It has always been clear that children have much more empathy than most adults. They feel more connected to the world and can’t understand why people rob and destroy the world by acting the way we do right now. So to me, it’s always a good time to listen to our children.
I would also like to see more attention to the role parents play. If we could teach parents how to relax, their children may come to rest too. I suspect that many of the behavioral problems can be traced back to the parents, hidden in old ideas, thoughts and thinking patterns which are emanating from the ego. The unconscious behavior of the parents is perceived by children from the day they are born and has a big influence on the development of the child. If parents are walking around with unresolved trauma, a child is probably experiencing the trauma too – while being totally oblivious of the existence of this trauma.
Let’s approach ADHD in a new light and let us focus on returning to ourselves again; let’s look for the connection to our true selves. We are not just our bodies; we are not just our minds. If we can let go of our false notions of reality, there’s a possibility that we can catch a glimpse of true reality. One which consists of beauty and serenity. The only thing we have to do is release the thought that we know who we are and just go with the experience. Then it will show that we have always been ourselves.
Let ourselves become like children again!