How to Throw Away Our Sons

Two days ago I was at a city council meeting in a nearby town when a young mother stood up to speak during the public comment period. She had young children in this town’s tutorial program at the library. She cried, saying she had six kids and the oldest, 11, had been diagnosed as ADHD, the next as ADD, and the third was “being diagnosed now by the school district.”

I hear alarm bells as soon as anyone uses the term ADHD or ADD to describe their elementary-age son.

This mother went on to say that, understandably, she is overwhelmed with six kids under age 11 and she is not able to find time to do homework with her kids. They were all struggling to read. Someone at the school finally pointed her to the free tutoring program at the library, which had made a huge difference, thankfully.

It was clear from the mother’s words that not only the school but she herself viewed her children through the lens of the diagnosis of ADHD and ADD. I am not judging her, but I think it is fair to say that she seemed to have found some relief in having a “diagnosis” for her kids.  If you are struggling with wild kids, I can see how a diagnosis could be a relief.

The whole conversation made my skin crawl. Maybe there is such a thing as ADD or ADHD. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that if I went into her house this morning, I would find sugar cereal and other sugary food being served for breakfast. I would find soda pop. I would find few fresh vegetables. I would find a lot of packaged food.

And I would find a father and sons who play video games.

Children who eat sugar for breakfast behave like children who eat sugar for breakfast.

This is an irrefutable law of natural consequences.  Children who are fed nonsense fake food all day behave badly. If a parent has a child who has time to play video games but is struggling to learn to read, who is at fault?

Perhaps there is such a thing as ADHD -- but if your child is fed refined sugar, you’ll never know. The only way to know if your child needs a “diagnosis” is to first remove the artificial, profit-driven stimulation from your home and THEN SEE HOW THEY BEHAVE.

I promise you this mother has not done this. I promise you there is sugary food for breakfast, and soda in the house. Why is there soda in the house? Because mom or dad or both drink it. Why is there possibly more time spent watching movies and playing online games than doing homework? Because homeworks is not fun.

I wonder if we are throwing away our boys. I have noticed that ADHD and ADD diagnoses are more often given to boys. Boys should by nature be kinetic.  I wonder if we are finding false relief in “diagnoses” before we are doing our best to provide the best home, nurturing, nutrition, and education for our kids. Once you tell a child they have a “diagnosis”, that child begins to make decisions differently. Our kids will pay for this the rest of their lives.

Garden-Fresh Salad on Feb. 19 2013

It’s noon. The temperature outside in my garden is about 40 degrees. Last night’s low was about 15 degrees. Yet I just picked this fresh salad for lunch. I woke up craving salad and natural yeast bread sticks, so I made no-knead bread sticks with yeast I set out to grow last night -- no other ingredients, just 12-hour yeast. For the last five minutes in the oven, I topped them with cheese, and then had my salad with them, and a baked potato left over from a couple nights ago (and rewarmed while the bread sticks cooked. My wife had a T-bone steak from our own cow with her salad. We are feeling very self-sufficient today :)

Here is what was in the salad:

- Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Caleb’s Deep Winter lettuce, and Winter Green Jewel Romaine, all grown in the garden all winter with no protection except a deep covering of snow. No cold frame or hot bed.
- Parsley, baby carrots, and America Spinach from cold frames in the backyard garden. The parsley is perennial (with protection). The carrots and spinach were both planted in the fall.
- Arctic King lettuce, Chinese cabbage, mizuna, red orach and pea shoots from the unheated geothermal greenhouse.

If you’d like to get started now growing your own fresh cold-season garden, you can get seeds from me by clicking here. Happy self-sufficient, super-healthy, and delicious eating!