The French Way — ADD Tip o the Day 393

Below is my entry into the fray provoked by an article ‘Why French Children Don’t Have ADHD’, which discussed child rearing methods and the benefits of spanking, among other things.  Lots of interesting comments.

1. I don’t know the best way to raise kids, apparently some others do yet they’re not in agreement. It probably partly depends on the particular kid and the particular parent.
2. I don’t think spanking is a good idea, ( i was spanked a lot, and also spanked my kids) but I’m not sure it is particularly harmful either if done “reasonably” , tho could be.  It certainly didn’t increase my respect for the spankers; in fact, quite the opposite.
3. It seems to me that the medications are more to help the kid focus than to ‘control’ them, and then the behavior will improve, although they also seem to have at least some direct effect on the hyperactivity.
4. I have spent some time in france; love it but can’t say that i know much about the french or how they raise their kids or the incidence of ADD/ADHD. would guess there are a lot of different parenting approaches since there are a lot of different parents.
5.Research shows that the brain in ADD/ADHD is different, from early on. Possibly this is the result of  the raising, but it’s doubtful.
6. Seems to me that a lot of people forget to say “seems to me” and that even if you hold an opinion very strongly, that does not make it a fact.
best wishes to all of us who struggle with these issues.
doug  IMG_2292

ps  i am trying to connect with anonymous who has a son in medical school, hope you will contact me

ps 2 i am very grateful to you who comment on this blog.  don’t be shy!!

the child is french.    for the fray  clik

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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15 Responses to The French Way — ADD Tip o the Day 393

  1. I was spanked as a child. I don’t have any resentment about it.

    I spanked my children. They don’t seem to have any problems as a result. We’re very close. My son and his wife and children live across the street and my daughter and her husband are nearby. My kids knew the rules and knew the consequences. They also knew we loved them.

    Now I have grandchildren. I will not spank them. Not because I don’t believe in it but because it’s not my place. That’s for their parents to do if it needs done. I’ll find other ways to discipline them – not that they need it. They’re perfect, you know! 🙂


    • patty- i don’t know that spanking necessarily does always harm. i think there are better ways. its hard to imagine a child getting spanked and not resenting it at the time, and i think their focus tends to be a lot more on the spanking than on what they did wrong. so i’m notsure what lessons they were learning. ithink i learned that if youre bigger than someone else you can hurt them and get away with it, and that if i was going to do somthing my parents wouldnt like it was better not to get caught.
      i think every parent child duo is unique, and different approaches are needed and noone really knows.
      thank you for commenting. best wishes. doug


  2. Flora Korkis says:

    My parents both did some hitting as a child though I realized later that with my mom, it was because she was stuck in an abusive relationship with my dad and didn’t know how to handle her feelings. My dad was crazy and definitely did both a lot more and well, I haven’t talked to him in two years and plan to never see him again. By the way, I have ADHD.


    • flora, by the way, me too. i doubt if the hitting had anything to do with having it – dont think there was much brain damage done – but it didnt help function any better.
      thank you for commenting
      best wishes


      • Flora Korkis says:

        The hitting made me resent him completely and actually made me disobey him more because of the total hatred I had for him. I don’t hate him now: he’s a sad, pathetic man who was part of my past and whom I have completely cut off from my future. The only way he’s ever seeing me again is if I CHOOSE to see him.


  3. Kris says:

    Hi Doug

    You should read ADHD from A to Zoe. She wrote two articles about ADHD kids being spanked recently (7 valid points).

    It sure does not help self-esteem problems for ADHD children. It surely cuts bonds between parent and child and ends with the child hitting back (or if it is yet too weak, then it goes for the weak spots like the bosom). With me, I repeated one sentence over and over: I hate my mom. I am sure she did not want that. You lose respect, as you said. Or if asked to do something, I would think “why should I do that, you hit me earlier”. Then I would have to reestablish justice – which started with assigning monetary repayments (stealing) or demolishing something in the house – our banister still has my little child teeth imprinted on it.

    But I think there can be more general problems, especially if your child is developing or has developed some other disorder. It can help sprout narcissistic personality disorder. Or it hinders the emotional development, as the one person you ought to trust hits you. That hurts internally. I guess it hurts so much that a child could split that part of its self to avoid being sad and angry and completely helpless.

    When I was around 19, my mom hit me once more, and I slashed back, cutting through her skin with my nails. If she did not apologize for all the years of hitting then, I might have no contact with her today. What would you have children for, if you wanted them to hate you, if you wanted to hurt them – adding to the burden of adhd which you likely already bestowed on them… I see no good side to spanking, and in some countries it is forbidden, even to administer spankings to animals…


    • Anonymous says:

      “seems to me” dike there was more going on than just spankings.


      • Anonymous says:



      • anon
        – you are right.
        thank you for commenting.


      • Kris says:

        haha, yeah sure, it is called ADHD 😉
        and luckily, I would rather describe me as resilient. Unfortunately, I am not really stupid (understatement for being intelligent) and was therefore never diagnosed until I read up on the subject.

        But my point is: spanking cuts into your soul, as it is abuse by a person not only stronger than you, but who is there to bring you up, help you build self esteem etc. I do think it is a contradiction.

        And I know of other cases of hitting in my friends, which I would consider even more severe. My parents used spanking to teach us because they were at their wits’ end. Other parents bruised their children severely (know from my teacher friend who has an ADHD child in class who turns up at school with bruises – and she can only tell the school principle – reason being something of the division of power and teachers not getting involved in the life of the kids at their homes – which could be due to a murder that happened some years ago after a girl told a teacher she was being sexually abused by her father. then the teacher wanted to help and was killed by the father. If you wonder where I live, it is not the US where killings in schools are saddeningly too common, but in a very stable European country)

        Some parents push their children down the stairs and stuff, risking their deaths in affect. As the parents often also have (untreated) ADHD, I think it is not safe.

        Appart from that, you could read into horsemanship, where it was/is still very common to hit horses. If you do it right, and the horse is healthy, it should be possible with a lot of attention and patience, to teach everything in a non-abusive way.

        Why would you take away this right from children? Why would you want to make your child cry (except for when having a narcissistic personality disorder)?

        Or do you want to be feared or respected and maybe, if you’re lucky, loved? I could make a detour to some dictatorships and politics in the world and draw the parallels, but I should get back to studying (the brain and stuff) – which leads to the last association: What do you think happens in your child’s brain if it is being hit? It is still growing, so there could be developmental issues for which I hope there are not too many test subjects. Or what would happen if you hit them on the head? Or made them fall on the head? I guess you could just drink all you want and smoke all you want during pregnancy instead…


    • kris-thank you for your good comments. i know about the teeth marks. thank you agian for commenting. best wishes


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