Take My Kid, Please!
Warning: This post is NOT politically correct. There are two types of kids that are admitted to psychiatric units, those with serious mental disorders who need professional help, and those who need a spanking. This post is about the latter. Before you send me hate mail, please hear me out.
There’s a new diagnosis making the rounds on psychiatric units. The diagnosis is Conduct Disorder, also known to many doctors and nurses as Brat Disease. I’ve never been able to understand how this disorder develops. Let me give you an example of what I routinely see on my unit. Two highly intelligent parents bring their little darling to the hospital because he or she won’t mind their manners. The kid dresses like a thug, uses drugs, assaults his or her parents, and refuses to go to school. The parents are dismayed by what is happening. They stand in front of the nursing station, wring their hands, and say, “We don’t know why our baby is acting like this. We’re afraid of our child. Please, help us.” Meanwhile, the kid is making demands, and telling the parents to go to hell. The parents cower, and give in to the child's demands. That’s when I step in. I tell the kid that while that type of behavior is tolerated at home, it will not be tolerated at the hospital. I let them know whose boss, and the parents stare at me, slack jawed in disbelief. Yes, Mom and Dad, it’s called setting limits.
I feel sorry for the psychiatrist. The parents are paying big bucks to have their child hospitalized, and they expect results. The kid usually goes home within three days, and like clockwork, the parents are calling the unit the next day, complaining about the incompetent doctor. Of course, the parents are clueless that they are part of the problem, and nothing gets resolved. It’s a no win situation, and unfortunately it’s the kid who suffers the most. I’ve observed that children are cured of Conduct Disorder when they turn 18 years old. After they turn 18, their condition changes into Convict Disorder, and they go to jail.