Not a Good Match?

This cartoon and post were inspired by Ramana’s comment on Extreme Techie over at Transforming Stress:

Naturally talented youngsters who can be classified as geeks or nerds are also to be seen and I find them lacking in social skills and lonely. They are brought to the local park and sit around playing games on their hand held gadgets while other children play other vigourous games.

The interesting question is, “Who defines social skills?” Here in the U.S. it’s the energetic children who are the misfits in school. They’re not interested in sitting and learning to read and write — starting in kindergarten now. So the teachers and schools suggest the kids (mostly boys) get tested and the doctor prescribes Ritalin or other drugs to calm them down and help them focus. There may be long-term side effects even though a lot of the students taking them are simply too exuberant for their environment.

So my guess is the solitary boys Ramana is talking about are simply in an environment that doesn’t match their temperaments and interests, just as the present U.S. elementary schools aren’t a good match for children who aren’t naturally studious.

What do you think?

Thanks to Dixie, Ursula, Evan, Mike, tammy, Cathy, bikehikebabe and Rummuser for commenting on last week’s post.


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22 Responses to Not a Good Match?

  1. tammy j says:

    I totally agree with you monk. and I’ve not seen it said so simply and on the mark as you’ve said it here . . . well, ever!
    I do not understand why we keep trying to cram square pegs into round holes. there is such a lack of quiet spirituality in America. it’s as if . . . you are not engaged in some frantic activitiy . . . there is definitely something WRONG with you. and as you say ~ they immediately turn first to drugs for whatever the problem is . . in whatever the situation. sad.

    our system is overly competitive, frantic and overbearing.
    we don’t seem to be able to find a happy medium.
    wow. takes little to get me wound up on this!! LOL. sorry. 🙂

    though . . . as an addendum ~ if the child is engrossed ONLY in the violent video ‘games’ that are too common now ~ that is another post in itself! and is something entirely different.
    tammy j´s last blog post ..march one

  2. bikehikebabe says:

    Nothing is ever simple, black or white.

    We’re trying to encourage energetic, athletic kids who aren’t couch potatoes sitting on their fat asses & growing into hugh obese adults who are bringing our heath system down with their diabetes, high blood pressure, heart & other problems.
    (This from someone who calls herself bikehikebabe & rightly so.)

  3. Cathy in NZ says:

    seems to be much of “putting folk in boxes” expecting them to conform to something that may or may not suit them…

    we seem to be allowed to be individuals in one stance and then suddenly those individuals are floating outside the boxes and other are trying desperately to bring them back inside…with all kinds of treatment protocols!
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..Side Study Stepping

  4. bikehikebabe says:

    Two boxes are nice. Athletic & studious; not the couch potato one.

  5. Evan says:

    Total agreement from me.

    Howard Gardner’s Project Zero – where people in child care were left to explore different areas, and lead to his idea of multiple intelligences – is really interesting I think. I think we naturally like to learn.

    I think a match between the person and their environment affects much of our functioning. Eg Debbie Ford who has just died found that her ‘shadow’ could be very useful in certain situations – which lead to self acceptance on her part.
    Evan´s last blog post ..Thriving#3 Making Changes

  6. Cathy in NZ says:

    bhb: yes two boxes are good…but what % can easily glide between the two and be complete. (I mean as young students) not when they get older and can multi-task!
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..Side Study Stepping

  7. Jean says:

    I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I love Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, etc. They realize that people come in a wide variety and our society is losing a lot by oversimplifying and judging.

    I agree drugging kids to make them less energetic is not the way to fight obesity. 🙂

    Apparently the World Health Organization manual classifies introversion as a personality disorder, and at times the American Psychiatric Association has come close to saying the same thing. Fortunately sanity has prevailed so far.

    Thank you for telling me about Debbie Ford dying. She was a mere youngster to some of us. I read her Dark Side of the Light Chasers years ago. It reminded me of psychosynthesis’s techniques for getting in touch with the parts of us (subpersonalities) that we didn’t like. The idea was to embrace them, understand how they were trying to help/protect us.

    I like Gardner’s idea of multiple intelligences. My strongest one is intrapersonal, understanding what’s going on inside myself. I remember reading as a kid that we shouldn’t be introspective, it was unhealthy. That didn’t make sense to me. It seemed to me if we just got curious and noticed what was going on rather than judging the insight we gained was powerful.

  8. Rummuser says:

    I am very pleased to have inspired you Jean and the outcome is very creative and apt.

    The point that I make is simply a new way of conveying what used to be taken for granted, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, play being physical activity and work being the equivalent of the modern couch potato. When the latter increasingly replaces the former, we are likely to produce physically under developed human beings. It is bad enough that many grown ups are like this, and to see children starting to be so at such early age is what troubles me. I rest my case.
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Breakfast And Tolkein.

  9. bikehikebabe says:

    I agree drugging kids to make them less energetic is not the way to fight obesity. 🙂 (from Jean)

    I didn’t say we should drug kids to be less energetic. We must encourage them to be— not to become couch potatoes.

  10. bikehikebabe says:

    Sorry. I didn’t need my last comment. Rummuser said it beautifully. I hadn’t read that before. (Jean’s comment was a brain-slip with so many comments to respond.)

  11. Jean says:

    Sorry, I agree exercise is important, but it doesn’t have to be in the form of group sports.

    I think your definition of play is way too limited. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak played a lot in their youths too but in their own ways. Steve Jobs has been called many things, but I doubt dull would be one of them. 🙂

    Also, do you think Jack Andraka is dull? If so, we need a lot more of people like him! (Thanks, bikehikebabe, for telling us about him.)

  12. Jean says:

    PS Don’t forget, this is what my playground looks like. What about yours?

  13. bikehikebabe says:

    This just came in about this post from someone that I sent:

    Agreed. ~ But I am totally against false diagnosis of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders. Big money makers for the psychologists and psychiatrists. Good solution for lazy parents who don´t want to pay attention and lazy and dumb teachers who don´t want to deal with gifted kids. Cynthia Klingler, Ph.D. Educational Psychologist.

  14. bikehikebabe says:

    I have a small trampoline like the one shown at your playground. I’m moving it to my computer. I don’t think my brain can keep me occupied long enough to get a good workout though. 🙁

  15. Jean says:

    My answer to Cynthia Klinger was

    That’s the big problem. They don’t test to make sure the kids really have ADHD. They give the pills and if the kid focuses more they say he/she had ADHD. They ignore the fact that if you give regular kids the drugs they focus better in the short term too, and that the drugs are only effective for a couple of years. College kids take it when they’re studying for exams, etc. Some get addicted.

    I use the trampoline when I’m at the computer. I also use my treadmill and aerobic steppers when I’m watching Netflix or listening to audio books.

  16. Cathy in NZ says:

    but also Jean and bhb: people fall through the gaps with just as many other soul destroying disabilities…that have similar “look” of Don’t Judge the Book by the Cover…
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..BIRD project

  17. Jean says:

    ? I’m not sure I understand that last comment. Could you give me some concrete examples? I agree that a lot of people don’t act the way they “should”, sometimes because of disabilities, and suffer for it/are challenged by it. I don’t understand the “that have similar “look” of Don’t Judge the Book by the Cover…”

  18. Cathy in NZ says:

    similar look…you can’t really see by just looking at a person, that they have ADHD or similar

    It is the actions that put them apart when in certain situations…

    I have a Don’t judge the book by cover disability…if you met me the street and asked “Hello, you look great” you would have no idea that I have a number of problems

    I have chronic health, a bad hand tremor, and very bad balance…as the prime things.

    But put in a situation where I have to walk on an unbalanced surface or do something that requires a fine motor skill – it usually pretty evident that I’m in trouble 🙂

    Imagine, me as a teenager – works well in class but then into examinations and I’ve scored a mark in the region of 30% – why because the examiner couldn’t read anything she wrote…I never really understood why I got low marks. My parents obviously knew why but they couldn’t assist because in those days “you just fell through the gaps” 🙁

    So we move the decades up to now and when I went to Uni first off…I had to get a letter from my then doctor with my problems. I said to Dr, “oh add the tremor, it might be useful” – Well, the guy at Disability scanned the document and then said “TREMOR, how does that affect you? Can you write clearly?” – me: “no, not all that well”

    And the rest is history, I have a notetaker for all lectures, a writer for exams/tests. Lots of help. GAP IS CLOSING finally – years after it should never have happened 🙂
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..BIRD project

  19. Jean says:

    My eye problems were the same–I couldn’t have survived in history, literature, etc., anything that required a lot of reading where I wasn’t able to pace myself. So I’m the last person to think that people should fit into nice little boxes. I’m glad you’re getting the help you need now. Audio books are one of the great joys of my life right now.

  20. bikehikebabe says:

    My daughter Lydia, sat by a disabled guy @ UCSB who was paralyzed & only used his mouth, poking a computer with a stick. She was the notetaker. She became a psychologist & he did too.

    Lydia, her boyfriend, boyfriend’s friend, paralyzed guy, & the girl who gave the commencement address, drove from Calif. to our house in New Mexico. Kudos to Lydia (I’m biased of course.)

  21. Cathy in NZ says:

    bhb brings up the other disability – you have to have an ‘aid’ to get around – whether it be a stick or a wheelchair.

    of course, that doesn’t mean you haven’t also got ADHD – but so many people then pigeon hole that person – there is a mental thing happening which isn’t the norm. Totally misreading a well publicised book cover!
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..BIRD project

  22. tammy j says:

    cathy i like your birds! ‘not guitars!’ . . . they make me happy.
    regardless of what the disability of tremors cause . . . you apparently have overcome them to create these beautiful little creatures!
    ps… i HATE that i cannot leave a comment on your own blog.
    it’s a dang wordpress thing. I’ve tried all the suggestions. aaggh.
    and monk . . . thank you for making us THINK! 🙂
    tammy j´s last blog post ..simplicity

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