Sunday, May 9, 2010

Random Thoughts

It's Mother's Day and my husband has done a GREAT job of keeping the kids busy and outside to give me some peace and quiet. We live in a very kid-full neighborhood and I asked for just one day if the only kids in the house were mine (no friends over today or kids running through the house, etc) However, what I am finding is that I am bored!! I honestly don't know quite what to do with myself! I did do some reading and that was great! On to some random thoughts from the past few weeks...

Living in Virginia, the news is filled with the story of George Huguely, the UVA lacrosse player who is accused of killing his girlfriend, Yeardley Love, also a lacrosse player at UVA. This story is heartbreaking for so many reasons, most of them obvious. These were two bright, talented students and athletes. UVA is called "the Ivy League of public schools" because it is so hard to get into. Clearly, these two had a lot going for them. It is actually George Huguely who fascinates me. I can't help but wonder if this young man, who went to a DC-area prep school, is unarguably good-looking, and who is a gifted ahtlete, was simply used to always getting his way. And when he didn't, threw a massive adult temper tantrum. I don't know the facts of this case, but I wonder. And the reason I wonder is because we have been having some of that in this house lately too. My older two seem to be throwing some "shit fits" lately which I find alarming. At age 10 and 11, they are far too old. They are not classic temper tantrums but rather a lot of yelling and nastiness with some hitting of walls thrown in for good measure. What happens when it is a girl who pisses them off? Bound to happen...
So we had a long talk about it. We'll see what happens...

Another thought that has been circling in my mind is my 11 year old Ben and ADHD meds. There is a misconception out there that ADHD meds are given to kids to calm them down and keep them under control. This, supposedly, is done for the convenience of the teacher or parent. Why is it that parents who medicate with ADHD meds are painted as overwrought parents who can't control their kids?? This is simply not true in most cases. Ben struggled from kindergarten through 3rd grade with paying attention, getting his work done, making friends, etc. He was simply "out of it" a lot of the time. The teacher would say "line up for art" and he would get his lunch box. He didn't finish tests, kids would talk to him and he was oblivious. It was hard to watch because he is very loving, very smart, very creative and funny. Finally, the summer after 3rd grade we tried some meds with him. It took a while to find the right med at the right dose, but to say he blossomed in 4th grade would be an understatement. He got straight A's, made several new friends, did his homework without drama, and was even recommended for the gifted program. He still had some ADHD symptoms, but they were greatly reduced. He remained on the meds through 5th grade. He was on the meds for HIM, not for us or his teachers. Last summer we made the decision (with his doctor) to stop taking them. He said they made him feel tired and I didn't want him to be on them long-term. Plus, he was doing so well, the doctor wanted to start weaning. So we did and this year in 6th grade he has been off the ADHD meds. As a result, his grades, while still good, have dropped, he seems generally unaware of what is going on in his classes, he is very disorganized, he seems to blurt things out, doing homework is like WWIII, and it is very hard to get him to pay attention when I am talking to him. He is lucky to have a great group of friends and to have a great school but ADHD is a real problem for him and for many other kids. We are considering another go with the meds...

Finally, (and this is just a coincidence, nothing whatsoever to do with the UVA lacrosse murder), I LOVE the game of lacrosse! My 10 year old Isaac is playing this spring for the first time. His football coach suggested he try it because he is fast and aggressive and thought he might like it. Alex is also playing on a non-competetive team for little kids. It is a fast-paced exciting game! Isaac is doing great and is obsessed with his lacrosse stick - taping it, re-stringing it, etc. constantly. I don't know how I have lived in MD and/or VA for close to 20 years and not really been aware of this sport! I hope it will get some good press at some point and not be always associated with George Huguely and the Duke lacrosse team scandal.


  1. If lacrosse or prep schools (or a combination of both) were responsible for the murder in Virginia, then I guess
    we would never see that kind of horrific crime in any other segment of the community (i.e., those who attend public schools, those who are not rich, those who do not play lacrosse, etc.)

    Is that really a logical conclusion or is it just that our pundits just like attacking the usual targets (and our journalism still hasn't gone beyond a tabloid fascination with "lifestyles of the rich and famous")?

  2. Hmm..I don't think I ever said lacrosse or prep schools were responsible for the murder. I DO think there are individuals in our society who think they are "above" it all and are not used to hearing "No." I went to HS with one who is in jail now. And he wasn't a lacrosse player or prep school kid.

    As I said, I think lacrosse is a great sport! What a relief to not have to watch my kids stand in the outfield this spring!!

  3. Hey!! I take great offense to the baseball bashing :P

    Having said that, I am completely against having kids play baseball too early. It gives them (and parents) an impression that baseball is boring when in fact it's just a slower game that takes much coordination and is kind of a thinking game that is better suited to kids when they're older, in my opinion. T-ball is the worst!!

    I think in a trivial pursuit game lacrosse is named as our (Canada) national sport? I, although having been very into sports my whole life, have never even held a stick. You're not the first one I've heard say that it's a great, exciting sport and I wish I'd had some exposure to it.

    I hear what you're saying about not being used to being told "no". I don't know enough about the case you refer to to comment how it applies there but a sense of entitlement and a wicked bad temper can certainly be dangerous.

    I'm one of those people you talk about who tsk tsk at medicating kids for ADD to make the school's job easier. While I learn all the time reading here and understand and believe the benefit meds have been to your son, I can't help but think there are people who do resort to it too quickly. You don't think this happens?

  4. Campbell, I absolutely think ADHD meds are given out too quickly and too freely. They are powerful meds and should only be taken under certain circumstances as follows: the child actually HAS ADHD (many kids actually have other disorders like SPD, Asperger's, dyslexia, CAPD, etc which can mimic ADHD and for which the meds will not work), the child has other supports in place - Ben saw a therapist regularly to help him learn to compenstate and had supports in place at school, the child should have an EEG (to rule out absence seizures) and an EKG (to rule out heart problems). Ben gained almost 30 pounds in the year following his disconinuation of the meds - they kill your appetite and he must have had some catching up to do!! I really don't want to use them again. However, I cannot ignore how effective the meds were for Ben. We were lucky(??) in that he was a kid for whom the meds were very effective. This also helps to confirm his dx of ADHD is correct. I was given a prescription for Alex but never filled it. He is too young (in my opinion) and I never thought ADHD was the right dx for him. It is hard to watch your child struggle and know there is something that can help and yet not use it. Not sure what we are going to do - we will have an appt with his doc this summer when he turns 12 and will have to decide together what is best.

  5. I know, it's very hard, in fact the worst, isn't it. Well, maybe not the worst, that may be when we're watching them struggle and know there's nothing we can do to help.

    Thanks for the explanation.