After 25 years practicing pediatrics, and caring for thousands of children, I’ve noticed some patterns that offer me a deeper vision of health. I’d like to share some of those invaluable lessons with parents.
We stand at a crossroads in medicine today. Having practiced developmental pediatrics for the past 25 years, I have become increasingly frustrated by an alarming trend and find myself asking why we are drugging our children for the way they behave?
Several recent reports have highlighted this phenomenon and they are worth mentioning here.
Once again Influenza is in the news causing panic. The signs of influenza are consistent with past years: red eyes, red lips, muscle aches and of course high fever. To ease your stress, here are a few tips to help your child weather the flu this year.
As the days become cooler and the fruit is ripening on the vines, our kids must go through the annual ritual of saying goodbye to the sweet carefree summertime and re-enter the world of institutionalized learning. Needless to say, this is not always greeted with exuberant cheers.
And yet this time of transition can be a wonderful opportunity for your family to pause and prepare your child for the coming school year with a sense of heightened joy and anticipation rather than burden and stress.
In part 3 of this series I spoke about the ways our survival depends on a radical shift in our vision of health away from a one-size-fits-all medicine that defines us by our diseases, towards a more whole-hearted embrace of our diverse adaptive powers. This is most important when it comes to raising healthy children. Once we know who our child is, we will know exactly what he needs to be resilient in the world and find long-lasting health.
In the first two parts of this series we looked at the ways time and attention allow us to take back our healthcare from an industry that has occupied our lives for far too long.
Adaptive Power to the People
The real power of the 99% lies in its diversity. Studies have shown that the more diverse a group is, the more creative their problem solving will be. Our species’ adaptive power is defined by the variety of our human character strengths. Society may favor conformity in an effort to maintain order, but nature favors diversity, ensuring the kind of flexibility that is key to our long-term survival.
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the need to take back the power of our own health from a pharmaceutical industry that has used fear to enslave us with promises of “better living through chemistry” by silencing our symptoms. It’s time to start learning how to occupy our world more effectively in order to find the freedom of recovery.
The Attention Deficit Epidemic:
When there’s no time to notice the complex relationships and conditions of our life, we have no choice than to reach for quick fixes. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the current epidemic of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) that seems to be ravishing our children.
The American Psychiatric Association is planning to release their new edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,” the bible of mental disorders. In it they have “reclassified” children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Aspergers syndrome. These changes will jeopardize services provided for children, impair tracking progress of therapeutic interventions and disrupt research into the causes of the epidemic rise in PDD and autism-related problems that has spread around the world.
I’m often asked by parents if there are any “alternative medicines” to help their child recover from a particular illness. I tell them that the most alternative medicine these days is time. Recovery takes time. Being healthy does not mean you never get sick. It means you are able to recover in a relatively short period of time. But in our busy 21st century life the one commodity that seems to be going extinct is time. We don’t have time to “get better” and illness is seen as an inconvenience or worse: the enemy.
Eating is Big News Eating right is certainly in the news these days. From the latest fads like “The South Beach Diet” to the front page image of the First Lady planting an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn, Americans are beginning to pay closer attention to their eating habits. Staggering reports of… Read more »