"If you don't put your child on Ritalin, he can't come back to day care."
Ritalin is a dangerous narcotic. It amounts to speed. It is a drug many doctors are reluctant to prescribe because it slugs a child into a personality not his own. It stunts a child's growth, it changes his drives; essentially, it's intended to be the new temporary lobotomy.
The bigger questions are what have happened to adults who must suggest mind altering drugs to handle simple childcare problems? And why are there so many poorly behaved children? And why are the simple problems so totally out of our reach?
"But isn't it the same thing – hyperactive and poorly behaved?"
In adulthood, the hyperactive personality produces quickly and efficiently. He's the explorer, the hero, the first one to volunteer and the last one to quit. He's a do now kind of guy. "Never put off anything you can accomplish today" is the theme song for the formed hyperactive adult, and the child with the right formation is the shadow of that behavior.
Poor behavior begins in that terrible third year. A two year old is a tyrant, a malicious reprobate, a sneaky, greedy, thieving, mess making, destructive, mean, angry, biting, self centered little spitfire and he's supposed to be.
Nature puts enmity between a mother and child in that horrible third year – when the child is two – for a reason. It's the time he moves away from the mother's arms into the father's arena. A child learns to be independent at two. This is when he sets his will – his personality - for the rest of his life. At two, it's up to the father to set the child's discovery limits so that the child's will is formed realistically.
This is what sets a child's deep love and affection for the father – because the father is the only one who can truly shape the two year old. Mother's heart strings are still reaching out for her baby – the malevolent little mongrel with the cat in his teeth.
When that third year is mismanaged, when a child sets his will beyond reason, and parents fail to curb him, there will be trouble. His will is twice his size and unmanageable.