It's sad to see what happens to the children in our lives when they are forced to take mood-altering drugs.
I've always believed those drugs should be dumped and buried at the bottom of a deep hole, because there are real, natural and healthy alternatives that can help children diagnosed with conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Now, a new study finds another alternative therapy that could help many children: grandparents.
That's right – if you're a grandparent, you might be able to treat a troubled child better than any medication.
What could be more natural than that?
The study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, was based on interviews with 1,515 kids between the ages of 11 and 16 in England and Wales. The researchers found that the more these children spoke with their grandparents, the less likely they were to be troubled. They were also less likely to exhibit behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and disruptiveness. What's more, they got along better with other children.
You know what I like best about this one? It didn't matter one whit what those conversations were about. A kid asking a grandparent for a little spending money had the same impact as coming to them for sagely advice. In other words, it was the mere interaction with the grandparent that had these amazing effects.
Having a healthy relationship with a grandparent helped kids across all family structures. But the researchers found it was especially beneficial to kids going through traumatic family changes, like divorce or separation. Adolescents in single-parent households or stepfamilies adjusted to those situations far better when they could lean on Grandma or Grandpa.
So when you're spending time with a grandchild, you may be doing more than just spoiling them. You may be treating them. And the side effects you bring include love, affection, attention, and wisdom.
There's something you can't put in a bottle.