Nursing Voices

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cell Phones and Bogus ADHD

I’m feeling grumpy today. I sat at the car dealership for over an hour, waiting to have my car serviced. I hate getting my car serviced on my day off. The service department was packed. It reminded me of what our emergency room looks like during a full moon.

I watched TV while I was waiting for my car, and I saw a news story on CNN that made my blood pressure go up. Some genius just released a study that links ADHD to kids who use cell phones. The children in this study were no older than seven years old. I’d like to ask the researchers why these children had cell phones in the first place. Maybe some of these kids are acting out because their parents are over indulgent, and give them whatever they want. I can hear it now:

Kid: I want a cell phone.

Parents: But honey, do you really need a phone?

Kid: I want one NOW!!!!!!!!!!

Parents: Oh Sweetie, don’t be mean. You're hurting our feelings.

Kid: Fuck you! Get me a cell phone. (Child punches hole in wall, and starts throwing furniture).

Parents: OK, darling. We're sorry that we made you mad.

See my point? Many child experts view destructive behavior as a symptom of ADHD. I call a lot of it criminal behavior. I see this crap all the time, and it's getting on my nerves. Parents need to get a clue and learn how to say no, and brats with bogus ADHD need to suffer some consequences for their malicious behavior.

Maybe I should conduct my own study on the effectiveness of woodshed therapy in the treatment of bogus ADHD. Look for me on CNN.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you. I have always felt that an ADHD DX should require weekly family therapy sessions for the duration the child is on medication. Parenting skills classes would be very benifical too.

9:34 PM  
Blogger undergrad RN said...

Woodshed therapy? Tell me more!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Whoa, whoa--behavioral methods of dealing with squirrely kids requires time and effort! Who knew becoming a parent would require either of those things? (sarcasm over)
Relatedly, I remember having the cell phone conversation with my mom in middle school--this was it, in its entirety:
"Mom, can I have a cell phone?"
"No. You don't need one."
Full stop.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

Oh little Undergrad RN, your question makes me believe that you are very young. Or that I'm old. Whatever. Back in the days of my youth, parents took their kids out behind the woodshed to administer corporal punishment. That’s an old school spanking. I’m NOT suggesting that parents beat their kids, but kids need to know who’s in charge of the household.

8:51 AM  
Blogger distracted by shiny objects said... that's what I've done to my kids. Both our girls got cell phones when they were about middle-school age so they could reach us if any problems (parents are two RN's working RN hours)and we could reach them. If used correctly a cell phone can be another tool of constant nagging and texting reminders.WALK THE DAWG!!!Then you can use it to swat their behinds out back behind the woodshed.I think I will claim geriatric ADHD before my kids find out about this research. Look--something shiny:>)AnnieH

11:09 AM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

Geriatric ADHD! Too funny!!!!!!! Love it:-)


2:34 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

My six-year-old has a cellphone. A Motorola Razor and I'd bet she could text the pants off of you.

Seriously, we don't have a landline in the house and with my illness, the child needs to have a way of calling 911 or my husband if she needs to. And it is a nice way in a two-story house to nag her, too.

4:58 PM  
Blogger david mcmahon said...

Made me smile and made me reflect. Off to look for you on CNN!!

8:16 PM  
Blogger MY OWN WOMAN... said...

Here is how the conversation with my daughter went when she was about 12 and wanted a cell phone.

Daughter: Mom, can I get a cell phone?
Me: No.
Daughter: Why?
Me: Because you don't need one.
Daughter: But Mom, then you'd know where I was all the time, you could call me and ask or I could call you.
Me: I know where you are all the time now and you don't have a phone.
Daughter: Everyone has one.
Me: Really?
Daughter: Yep. Everyone except me.
Me: Aww, I'm sorry.
Daughter: So, can I have one?
Me: Nope! End of discussion.
Daughter: But Mom.....
Me: [Evil Eye}
Daughter: [Silence]

9:54 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Hi Mother Jones! I popped over from David McMahon's place. Congratulations on making is Post of the Day list.

Wonderful post. I've seen way too many kids with cell phones out in classes to think they are a good idea for anyone younger than college age. Here, here to the woodshed therapy! Never should have been taken out of the arena of good parenting.


7:47 AM  
Blogger Katney said...

I'm of two minds on the cell phone for kids. To have a cell phone, a kid must be responsible and know when it is appropriate to use it. Those times would include: checking in with parent to let them know they arrived somewhere safely, being reachable by parent at any time when they are out, calling 911 in an emergency.
Those times would not include: running up several hundred dollars a month in texting charges, texting exam answers to your friend across the room, disrupting another grade's English class because they have to search the closet to find the backpack where the phone is ringing constantly during school hours because you didn't turn it off but weren't carrying it on your person because you would get in trouble. (She got in trouble.) But ADHD? hogwash!

I came from David's.

8:34 AM  
Blogger CrazyCath said...

I am soooo with you one this one! Bogus ADHD - love the title.

Cell phones have their uses re safety etc. - but the child needs to be old enough to be responsible. My 10 year old is in a minority not having one. He doesn't need one. He will probably get one in the next 6 months in prep for going up to high school. But I will do what I did with his (now 18) brother - he will get a second hand phone, with a "pay as you go" no contract thingy. If he uses all the credit-tough. But I will be able to contact him, and emergency calls are free.

Other than that, he doesn't need one. I know a 7 year old who has a cell phone - and he is diagnosed (and medicated) as having ADHD. Hmmm.

Great post. Over from David's.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Karin, RN said...

My 8-year old son (probably ADHD) had been asking for his own cell phone since kindergarten because some of his "classmates have it." He forgets a thing or two everywhere all the time! I am not going to invest on a cell phone yet. Maybe he can get one when he's old enough to pay for his own with his hard-earned money.
As far as the woodshed therapy, he does not need it. I had to mention, though, that I was on it as a child. My parents used the stick of the broom. Back then, it was not called abuse. I grew up as a disciplined child to maturity, well most of the time.

12:15 PM  
Blogger emmy said...

My son's had ADD. They weren't really hyperactive, but from the first dose of ritalin I could tell the difference. They could sit still and listen to what I was saying. They could read a whole page of a book without staring out the window. They could remember multiple commands at a time, like pick up your plate, take it to the sink, rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. Giving them medication didn't make me a bad parent. It gave me kids who could pay attention long enough to absorb the lessons of being a child. Around about the time they were graduating from highschool, they both decided that they could handle life without the medication. I'm told it would have begun to stop working right about that time anyway. My daughter on the other hand has never had a problem paying attention. She didn't need the medication and didn't get it. But when she was 12, I was diagnosed with cancer and her grandparents decided it would be a good time to distract her with a trip to Disney World. It required that she travel from Atlanta to Orlando on a plane by herself. So I bought a cheap cell phone, filled it up with minutes, and put my phone number and the phone number of her grand parents in it. When she arrived in Orlando, there was some sort of problem where the security agents closed the Airport leaving her on the plane and her grandfather circling the airport in his car trying to get in. She was able to call him and me and we could reassure her that all would be well. Up until that point, I hadn't been a big fan of giving cell phones to kids. This past weekend we were watching the new "Sex in the City" movie (my daughter has grown up a bit)and she pointed out that Carrie had a cell phone just like the one she took to Disney.

Giving your kids cell phones or medications doesn't make you a bad parent. Not parenting you kids makes you a bad parent.

12:01 PM  

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