A viewer asked: “Our family doctor has diagnosed our four-year-old son with ADHD and wants to put him on medication. Of course I want him to succeed, but I hate the idea of stifling him with drugs if there is a better way. What is your recommended approach to this issue?”

Rabbi Simon Jacobson answered: “As in all medical situations, the first thing is to get the proper diagnosis and to get more than one opinion because sometimes we misdiagnose, sometimes we underdiagnose, and before you put anybody on medication, which itself can become a dependency even if it is necessary, you really want to be 100% sure — especially if it is your own child. Once you’ve established a diagnosis, then obviously going by the majority opinions of doctors is what you follow. But at the same time, let’s not underestimate the power of a parent as someone that loves the child and how you can effect the psychological makeup and pathology of our children. However you understand ADHD, one thing is for sure: When your child loves what they are doing and they are passionate about something, usually the symptoms of ADHD become minimized. So my suggestion is to find activities, identify projects — it could be music, it could be a different hobby, it could be art, it could be sports — something your child really gravitates to because when a child is doing something they love and their energy is focused they become far more productive in addition to building the self-esteem that is necessary to deal with perhaps some shortcomings in other areas. So practically speaking: Identify factors, identify ideas, identify elements that speak to your child in that loving way. And above all make sure to always infuse your child with self-confidence, showing that you unconditionally love them, that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help your child excel. Because we don’t always know the unspoken elements that are at work in the heart and soul of children, who don’t have the ability to always articulate what’s going on. That love — like nurturing a flower, like watering a plant — is what brings out the best in people in general and especially in our children who are in an impressionable age, formative stage, in how they will grow into large trees is defined by how they build through the formative years.”

Did you enjoy this? Get personalized content delivered to your own MLC profile page by joining the MLC community. It's free! Click here to find out more.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Meaningful Life Center