by Kenneth Justice
~Earlier in the year a Day Care worker was arrested in the United States when it was found out she was giving the children cough medicine in order to get them to go to sleep; she was giving them drugs to calm them down.
Imagine what kind of world this would be if we gave our children drugs as a means of controlling their behavior;
—) The children are too loud in the car while you are driving to the store; give them drugs
—) Your child misbehaves while at church and won’t sit still, so you give him some drugs
—) The children seem to be fighting amongst each other more today; give them drugs
I think we would all agree that a parent who gives their children drugs as a facet of child rearing might need their motives examined. And perhaps you’re thinking that it seems strange to even think of giving children drugs to calm them down…..but lets remember that is what schools have been doing for a long time.
When I was younger, schools in the United States were finding that children simply didn’t want to sit still in class. However, instead of asking WHY the children didn’t want to sit still in class schools asked HOW can we get them to sit still; enter Ritalin.
The New York Times has said that Ritalin is more potent than cocaine.
One of the principle motivations of my blog and my approach to life is asking WHY…..
“HOW” should only be asked once we have established the answer to WHY. Too much of the decisions being made in our culture spawn from HOW and the ethical issues behind WHY are never discussed;
—-) How can we create human clones
—-) How can we create advertisements that get consumers to spend even more of their money
—-) How can we create cheaper homes
But SHOULD we do any of those things? WHY should we? Why should we create human clones? Should we be creating better commercials that get consumers to spend more of their money? Are cheaper homes a good idea? Don’t we want quality homes…not cheaper homes?
Do you see the difference between asking WHY versus asking HOW?
When school officials began asking themselves HOW can we get children to sit still in class they did a great disservice to children….because they never asked, “WHY does it seem that children don’t like sitting still in class?”
Has anyone ever bothered to ask whether its a good idea to make children sit still at their desks for hours-at-a-time?
—-) Perhaps children want to be running around
—-) Perhaps sitting-at-a-desk isn’t the best way for children to learn
When the Ritalin generation began to be identified, researchers noticed that a higher percentage of young boys were being prescribed the drug……..
Is it just me or do you have to be a psychologist or rocket scientist to realize that ‘young boys like to run around’? Its in their nature! They don’t want to sit still for-hours-on-end. They want to get their hands dirty looking at bugs. They want to use their hands to dig in the dirt, throw balls, and build Legos…..and lets be honest many girls want to do this also!
Unfortunately, we created a philosophy behind the way-we-do-school where
—) everyone must sit at a desk
—) everyone must learn the same way
—) everyone must sit still
—) everyone must learn at the same pace
However, when we let children learn at each of their own, individual pace, researchers have found that children excel in their academics.
Why are we so stubborn in the way-we-do-school?
—) Why don’t we throw out the desks and teach children biology as the teacher takes them for a walk through the woods every day
—) Why don’t we throw out the desks and teach children about sexuality as we show them animals in the wild who are mating; at certain times of the year birds and squirrels are all over the place mating!
—) Why don’t we throw out the desks and have the teachers take the children on walks through the woods, by the ocean, the river, or anywhere OUTSIDE.
Why don’t we get the kids out of the classrooms and closer to nature???
Notice all of those questions I pose are WHY questions; we need to begin asking why……BEFORE we ask HOW.
If we agree that there are some very serious cultural disorders….then we need to begin asking WHY they exist…..and then we need to ask HOW can we fix them.
One of the things that psychologists are finding is that the more disconnected we become from nature; the higher the likelihood we will struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mood problems.
So WHY don’t we get children outside of the classroom and closer to nature? Why don’t we come up with more creative ways to teach children rather than giving them drugs to calm them down?
Right now I’m going to have another cup of coffee….I don’t need to ask WHY about that.
Categories: Culture & Society