The topic of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder) can stir emotion in some, especially among parents whose children are affected. It was originally known as Minimal Brain Dysfunction. There are two basic types of ADD: (1) Passive, where the child is not hyperactive, but can’t focus and (2) Active, where the child is hyperactive along with a deficiency of attention. Plainly stated, ADD children can’t focus their attention on anything for a long time.
This disorder is legitimate, but has been exploited in the past several years. Let me give you my simplistic, rather hard, but common sense analysis on most who have been diagnosed with this disorder. Most kids will not focus their attention very long on anything unless they are already interested in it, or unless they are motivated to do so. My experience from pastoring ADD kids and their parents, being a father myself, teaching adults in college who have been diagnosed ADD and consulting with my wife (who has legitimate experience in diagnosis and treatment in this area) tells me that a lot of the kids diagnosed with ADD may not really have it. One thing they all have in common is being descended from Adam, with a predisposition to sin and rebel against authority.
How many times have you heard a parent say, ‘I just can’t do a thing with him (most ADD’s are male),” only to hear later that Jr. was just diagnosed ADD. Hold it! You mean an educated adult with life experience, and common sense (hopefully) can’t control a child? Children are lied to by their parents more than anyone else (“If you do that one more time, I’ll….….”, but they never follow through with the punishment). Kids learn early how to manipulate and threaten. Many children, whether diagnosed as ADD or not, will not perform or work at quality level unless they are motivated to do so. The method of motivation is up to the parent. Depending on the child, it may be positive reinforcement, or it may be a switch applied to the bottom or legs (Look under “rod” in the book of Proverbs for further instruction).
Am I denying the reality of ADD? Certainly not! But I am saying too many parents, when met with a little resistance from their child, listen to some liberal claptrap about attention deficiency and how kids today just can’t focus or mind. Looking for a quick fix, they whisk them off to be labeled and medicated. Now, the child may really have ADD or some other legitimate learning disorder. But the child may just be strong willed. Or the child may be a little hyperactive with a seeming deficiency of attention brought on because he’s not made to stop long enough to focus.
There is another kind of attention deficiency that often causes the “disorders” kids exhibit. I think some parents are deficient in paying attention to their kids and spending time with them. When the home is a Godly home, where the parents spend time with their children, are in charge and set boundaries and rules and enforce them with discipline and training in love and compassion, that home will have fewer “cases” of ADD children.
The Bible says TRAIN up a child. That means to bend the tree in the direction it should grow. Training requires effort and means teaching children they are accountable, and responsible for their own actions. Children are not responsible or wise enough to train themselves properly. That’s why they have parents.
Joseph Harris, [email protected] has been a college professor and pastor since 1987 and his writings have appeared on stupidpoliticians.com, WND, Sword of the Lord, Intellectual Conservative, Conservative Daily News, Canada Free Press, Land of the Free, The Post Chronicle and News America Daily.