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Friday, 21 January 2011

Coshing The Kids

In the press today was a mention of the number of youngsters in UK schools who are being prescribed Ritalin to quieten them down and hopefully to contain the problems of their behaviour in school and the community.

The figure given was 650,000. This does seem to be far too high a proportion and clearly something somewhere is going badly wrong. Ritalin, along with other drugs is more or less a chemical cosh. We do not know how many other substances are being used.

Inevitably, there are many possibilities. Upbringing, family insecurity, the media, too much TV or computing and too little activity are amongst them. Perhaps there has been a general lack of essential support or training for many children in the last couple of decades or so.

On argument is that as the “Baby Boomers” went easier on their kids, so they in turn went even more easy on theirs so we now have a lot of little monsters running about. There are times when this is what I feel.

There are people who ask questions of diet. The huge consumption of drinks and foods with high levels of sugars, caffeine and “carbo” along with high “carbo” foods in abundance could well be a contributory cause. Many of these in turn may have sweeteners and fillers packing high strength and a stimulant effect.

But there is very little comment on other substances. The human body and brain are complex systems that need a chemically stable basis on which to function well. In recent decades we have been adding things to the diet and environment which create major challenges to those systems.

There has been a good deal of attention given to agricultural chemical use and to pesticides etc. As well as their other effects because of the complexity it is very difficult to determine whether they might have a contributory role in questions of behaviour, especially in a growing child.

Then again there are the household chemicals. We do know that many can affect the skin and respiration and digestive systems. Added to that is the power and impact of added synthetics designed to affect the sense of smell and brain reactions to the immediate environment.

In most homes now there is a large collection of bathroom, personal, kitchen, washing, air treatment and other products all of which will have impacts and effects and are designed to.

This is a very great deal for the human body to cope with. Perhaps a person who is fit, active, engaged in occupations and interests that assist human function can cope but this is not the case at present.

So however we bring up the kids, if we are hitting them heavily daily, hourly and every second almost with a heavy chemical cosh then how can we expect them to behave as we wish?

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