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Any children are ignored by community members, particularly their peers. When a child is unable to interact with others or make friends, he or she becomes isolated to the point that they create imaginary friends to keep themselves company (Hill). However, only because a child is alone does not always indicate that he or she is sad. A lonely child can even be in the presence of others.
When children are medicated to control their hyperactivity and force them to alter their behavior in order to seem normal, the problem is brought to light. Medicating infants is a harmful activity that has the potential to stifle their imagination. Children do not make imaginary friends because they are abnormal, but it is an outcome of loneliness. Since children need playmates, if they become confined and isolated or they are unable to identify with any of the other children enough to make friends who they can play with, then they will make imaginary friends.
Some of the facts in the article stack up such children will make up imaginary friends who they can play with if they are unable or prevented to interact with other children. However, some facts do not stack up such as hyperactivity should not be controlled through the use of medication. This fact does not stack because hyperactivity in children could be a symptom of a more aggressive underlying problem that if left unchecked could have unfavorable outcomes. Therefore, medication may be a necessity to control a mental or psychosocial problem that inhibits normal behavior. However, hyperactivity in itself should not be cause for medicating children.
The article solely carries the opinion of the author and does not reference the opinion of others. However, the author emphases that some of the opinions presented in the article are identifiable with most people whose childhoods can be characterized as that presented by Calvin and Hobbes. Therefore, the opinion of others concur with the author’s argument in support of his views that lonely children may need creativity and imaginary friends to see them through difficult times.
How can the issue be defined?
The article defines the medication issue as a major problem and inhibits creative development in children. Medicating children makes them oblivious of their immediate environment and often results in loneliness since a child cannot engage his or her imaginative creativity. Loneliness is defined as having less to do with being alone and more to do with the absence of other people around. The article asserts that being lone and being isolated are two significantly different issues. Evidently, being alone can be attributed to an individual’s choice and free will, but being isolated is often a declaration either by a parent, a guardian, teacher or a person in a position of authority.
The authors comment that the “former is a choice, the latter a decree” in reference to being alone and isolated helps define the issue for the author (Hill). Being alone may be a choice that children make because of various factors. For instance, a child may perceive others as different from him or her and may not be able to identify with them. Since a child may not be a best fit for the conventional social interaction with other children, he or she may make a decision that being alone is better than interacting with people one does not like or even recognize. Further the author uses the phrase, “the latter a decree” to demonstrate that loneliness may not result from an individual’s choices but it could be an outcome of forced circumstances where a child has no power to make decisions.
These definitions help my understating of the issue in the context of family and social dynamics that influence relationships among children. I would not define the issue differently since the author has made a compelling case for the points made in view of child development processes especially in a situation where there may be few or no friends to play with. The author asserts that most people had an imaginary friend when growing up, and there is nothing wrong in letting children experience the same since it is part of child development.
How much does the issue matter and why?
The author makes a categorical statement that the issue is “in every sense of the word, an abomination” (Hill). The author emphasizes that the issue of medicating children may have irreversible outcomes and may have negative effects on a child’s developmental processes. In addition to posing a danger to children, medication ruins children’s creativity forever. The issue has ethical consequences since medicating children in order to control their behavior contravenes established practices of raising children. Ethical practice requires that parents or guardians should make an effort to identify and understand the issues that affect their children. If a child does not have friends and becomes lonely, the parents have a duty to determine the reason and identify methods of helping the child. Medicating children is unethical practice conducted by parents who refuse to make time to identify the issues that affect their children. The occurrence of hyperactivity is used as basis to medicate children and keep them docile.
The author proposes to immediately allow children to undergo normal developmental processes without the aid of “pills” to keep them in control (Hill). Evidently, children’s minds are progressively growing, changing and maturing; therefore, they are not as stupid as some parents believe. The author observes some children are sensitive and attuned to their immediate world such as Calvin are more creative and imaginative. The consequences of failing to act is that children will continue to be medicated and their personalities will be significantly affected. Since medication inhibits brain activity and causing children to become docile, failure to act would lead to a situation where medicating children without medical reasons becomes the norm. In addition, there is a chance the medicating children would have adverse outcomes that would affect their mental and physical health.
These consequences are extremely serious since they involve the well-being of children and problems that may impair them from growing up to become individuals capable of solving problems through critical thinking. The impairment of a child’s capacity to be creative and imaginative affects not only their personality but also their capacity to deal with routine issues that may occur in their lives.
What Actions should be taken as a result?
The author asserts that loneliness and sadness are nothing new considering that they are part of the experiences that children can grow and learn more about themselves. Among the thing being done currently is to allow children even those that are hyperactive to interact with their world without being influenced by “pills” that inhibit the young minds (Hill). The author feels that allowing children to think freely, experience issues such as loneliness gives them room to think critically about things in their immediate environment. Consequently, their imagination is sparked leading to the development of unique attributes that could be a gateway to the children becoming a “budding inventor, a gifted artist, an enterprising entrepreneur and a self-taught pundit” (Hill).
The author speaks for the action of allowing children to grow naturally without medication while attempting to create a learning environment that allows them to be creative and imaginative. The authors encourages others to adopt her view point and allow others to learn through similar experiences as those represented by Calvin. In addition, the author encourages readers to allow the children to experience the happier and sad experiences in life since they contribute in shaping their lives.
Others may disagree that children should only be allowed to experience happy things only and all sad or unhappy experiences must be avoided. There are those that may argue that hyperactive children are bothersome and need medication to calm them down. I agree with the author’s proposal to allow children to grow naturally without the intervention of pills and create an environment that allows imaginative and creative development. I would not change any aspect of what needs to be done since the author has clearly explicated the need and significance of allowing children the freedom to grow up with the influence of pharmaceuticals.
The issue of hyperactivity in children should not assumed to be a normal developmental process. Hyperactive children could be suffering from underlying conditions that may require medication attention (Middeldorp et al. 919). In such situation, diagnosis of the problem should be made and appropriate treatment protocols started. Since such situations may involve taking pills for a designated period, it should not be assumed that the medication will impair creativity and imagination in children.
Hill, Libby. Calvin and Hobbes embodied the voice of the lonely child. AUX, Aux.avclub.com, 8 June 2015, aux.avclub.com/calvin-and-hobbes-embodied-the-voice-of-the-lonely-chil-1798280405. Accessed 3 December 2017.
Middeldorp, Christel, et al. "Parents of Children with Psychopathology: Psychiatric Problems and the Association with Their Child's Problems." European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 25, no. 8, Aug. 2016, pp. 919-927.
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