Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Physician to "physician to parents": you're full of shit

Doctors are trained to deal with singular patients, not society as a whole.

Courtesy of a friend's Facebook page comes a visceral reaction to this website:

I don't blame her. However many books this guy has published, however many degrees he's amassed, NOBODY has such profound insights into parenting that he can tell the world how to raise their kids.

The gist of his argument is something like Bill Engvall's "Nobody disciplines their kids" schtick.

Really? Through all of history kids everywhere were well behaved? Could it be that a family doctor and psychologist might be drawing conclusions under the heavy influence of a negative cognitive ("Murphy's Law) bias and selection bias? Without jargon, I'd guess he's drawing his sweeping conclusions from patient encounters that a) he remembers because the kid or parent acted like a shit, or b) were consultations specifically for poor behavior.

He has other claims that range from laughable to lies. Studies show lack of parental authority is why obesity is on the rise and kids are on too much ADHD/anxiety medication? Really? Not heavy marketing of junk food to kids? Or urban planning that makes walking and cycling impossible? Or disease mongering by drug companies to sell pills advertised everywhere?

And lack of parenting is why America no longer excels in education? Did lack of parenting gut education funding all over the U.S. for the past thirty years? Did lack of parental discipline across society push schools to add fiction to the science and history curricula (creationism, whitewashing of slavery)?

There are many, many reasons why kids fail to thrive: family poverty; abuse; in utero alcohol/drug use; and complete parental incompetence among society's underclass, to name a few.

For you ordinary parents, trying their hardest to raise kids, keep food on the table, and stay sane: take comfort. Your kids will almost certainly end up just fine.

So says a doctor who was fat, lazy, cocky, and addicted to TV and video games as a kid.

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