ADHD & Mental Health

The Namby Pamby Effect: Are Our Kids Growing Up Soft and Confused?

When Jacob was four years old, he earned his first, shiny trophy, courtesy of participation in a nearby t-ball league. As he grew older, trophies, plaques, and medals for participation started piling up in his closet. One day, he even received a trophy for attending a friend’s birthday party. In 3rd grade, Jacob earned his first trip to the principal’s office for bad behavior, and was given a lower level referral (formerly known as a demerit). Moderate or higher level referrals didn’t exist. By the time he reached middle school, he learned that as long as he kept his referrals under ten for the year, his parents would not be contacted by the school. Meanwhile, despite putting little effort (at home or school) into his schoolwork, he slid by with mostly B’s and C’s courtesy of the well-documented trend of grade inflation. He and his classmates quickly learned that they could get into the online grading system and figure which assignments counted, and which were worth few or no points at all. They quickly became experts on how to slide by.

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I Just Want You to Be Happy: No, We Want Much, Much More for You

n the 1950’s, a group of psychologists began promulgating ideas related to the pursuit of happiness and flourishing. Psychology had long been focused on what could go wrong instead of what could go right. As the psychologist Martin Seligman noted decades later in the first sentence of his book, Authentic Happiness, “For the last half century psychology has been consumed with a single topic only—mental illness.”

For millennium, varied traditions have spoken of this pursuit. The Israelites believed t

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Addressing the Mental Health Crisis: What Really Matters

Evidence increasingly suggests that psychological difficulties are on the rise.  The Global Disease Burden Study, published in August of 2013, declared that “mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of nonfatal illness worldw

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It’s What’s On the Inside that Counts: Why This Just Doesn’t Cut It

We have all said it. Or at least thought it at one time. Maybe it was in response to a brand new pair of thick-rimmed glasses that suddenly adorned a face of someone we loved. Maybe it was a statement of comfort to a person who was fifty pounds overweight, or whose face was covered in pimples. Or maybe, it was just intended to make someone who the world judges as unattractive feel better about themselves. Regardless, the statement or ones like it, usually come from a good place, with admirable intentions. Especially as parents, we find ourselves desiring that we live in a world where people aren’t judged, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by the color of their skin or the attractiveness of their body, but by the content of their character. The problem is, we are unknowingly sending the wrong message when only the “inside counts”, and ignoring just where we are.

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