I should have seen it when I was handed a workbook, along with several trusty cassette tapes, and told to listen. When I did, a man's voice told me that I had no natural instincts when it came to parenting.

That's sweet. 

So, did they want me to grab my Wachovia checkbook so I could buy that book and six-tape set to learn how?

To this day, I remember asking a simple question of friends who'd also listened to the tapes or worked through the book: Can someone please explain how parents managed for thousands of years before these good people peddled their parenting program?

No one could answer.

Y'all. I get it. Parenthood is terrifying. Who hasn't checked on their newborn at 1:17 a.m. and then again five minutes later to ensure they're still breathing? And who really knows how much they’re supposed to eat? And who hasn't hidden in a nearby closet to cry when parenting a strong-willed child?

What do you do about things like increasingly complex parenting issues?

You certainly don't start by sowing seeds of doubt.

I didn't see it then, but I do now. The man and his wife, who proffered their parenting method, pulled off the classic Hegelian dialectic by creating the problem and offering a solution. Parents – you can't! But we can! 

See how that works? And isn't that just like the devil?! He is always working to get a large swath of vulnerable adults – and young parents certainly are vulnerable – to believe lies, to doubt what God has called them to do. 

For the record, I'm not suggesting we forgo reading about parenting and parenthood. Goodness. I read the cover off “What to Expect When You're Expecting,” and anything else, for that matter, that I could get my hands on – like John Rosemond's common sense brilliant columns and books. 

But the books I read, and the parents and grandparents I asked many questions of, offered encouragement in the way I should go, rather than giving air to the fiery lie that I couldn't do the job for which God made me. 

These days, our kids face similar and insidious identity-doubting lies in the form of iatrogenesis – harm brought forth by a healer. 

Abigail Shrier writes about iatrogenesis in her meticulously researched book “Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren't Growing Up, and about this idea that only science – through medicine and endless therapy – can save our kids now. 

It goes something like this: Kids, you're broken. And since we're the experts – certainly not your weird and backward parents, the adults unequipped to lead you – we will take their place. 

In 2021, "pediatric [mental health] conditions were associated with $31 Billion in child spending and $59 Billion in household spending,” the National Institutes of Health reports, a number which equals “46.6% of all pediatric medical spending” that year. 

But what is the money and expertise doing? I found startling answers on page 17 of Shrier’s book. 

  • "The mental health establishment has successfully sold a generation the idea that vast numbers of them are sick. Less than half of Gen Zers believe their mental health is good.”

  • “The rising generation has received more therapy than any prior generation. Nearly 40 percent have received treatment from a mental health professional.

  • “One in six US children aged two to eight years old has a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder. More than 10 percent of kids have an ADHD diagnosis."

  • And yet, mental health has been in steady decline since the 1950s.

And so what does that mean? 

"The grimmest risk of antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and stimulants is the primary effect of the drugs themselves: placing a young person in a medicated state while he's still getting used to the feel and fit of his own skin, compelling him to play remote spectator in his own life," Shrier says. 

Is that what we want for our kids – keep them anesthetized? 

And isn't that just like the devil? 

Never mind that social media is extinguishing their joy and harnessing their fear, or that schools routinely practice social and emotional learning (SEL) by teaching kids to comb their person for problems, including changing their gender. Seek, and ye shall find, right? 

But there is a solution. And it’s simple. I learned it 24 years ago after tossing the tapes. 

Cling to the truth. 

Parents – parent! If you need help, seek it out, starting with God first. He will lead you where you need to go – to wise counsel, friends, and even books that offer sound rather than dubious advice. 

Parents, you, not today's experts, are exactly who God wants to lead your kids. He will give you what you need when you need it. 

Whatever you do, don't doubt that.

Amie Beth Shaver co-hosts Alabama Unfiltered Radio show daily from 9-12 a.m. on News Talk 93.1 fm WAVC, and 92.5, WXJC. Her column appears every other Saturday at 1819 News. To book Amie Beth for media or speaking engagement's, email amiebeth.shaver@1819News.com.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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