Parenting with Pills: After the Show

DrPhil.com Exclusive
Dr. Phil has advice for parents whose children have been diagnosed with ADD and ADHD.After the show, Dr. Phil talks with the audience and he clarifies his point of view. "I'm not saying that there is not a genuine
disorder of ADD or hyperactivity or the combination of the two. There absolutely is, but it is so over-diagnosed," he says.


Acknowledging that he is not a physician, he says, "You have to put in the conditions that we're talking about. You've got to have the structured parenting. You've got to have the proper menu, and then you can teach them to master the situations themselves so they can control what's going on. And they love that power. They love that mastery. And you've got to have this partnership with the educators. You just can't put those kids in there and say, 'Whatever. It's your job.'"


A woman asks Dr. Phil if ADD is genetic or if it is learned.


Dr. Lawlis answers saying, "There is some evidence to show that real ADD does have some genetic factors that go into that, so yes. However, it still goes back to the factor that you can make a difference with some alternative approaches. You're not doomed to be on medication for the rest of your life."

Another woman has two kids who were diagnosed with ADD and she has put them on medication. She worries that after a show like this people

will look negavtively on her because she uses medication. "It's not a matter of parenting. I do very well with my kids at home. In the school they need medication," she explains. She has done a lot of research and runs an ADD support group, and believes that medication is the right thing for her children.


"I don't disagree at all if you want to give your child medication, but I'm going to stimulate everyone's thinking to ask the right questions before they do it," Dr. Phil reiterates. "In addition to seeing your doctor, in addition to doing these things, make certain that you are doing everything you can do to manage and minimize the disorder. Those pills are not a magic bullet for everybody. If they're working for you and your children against a backdrop of responsible parenting, then good for you and you shouldn't substitute my judgment or anyone else's for your own," he tells her.


The woman acknowledges what Dr. Phil has said, and admits that it is hard work. "It's a lifetime thing dealing with them, teaching them," she responds.