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Pills Are Not for Preschoolers: A Drug-Free Approach for Troubled Kids Paperback – August 27, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (August 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393343162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393343168
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wedge, a California-based family therapist, asserts that the medicating of inattentive or hard-to-manage kids has become a dangerous but socially accepted way to deal with children's problems. But psychiatric drugs may have serious side effects for children, and the benefits do not always outweigh the potential for harm. Wedge reveals how family therapists approach such symptoms as unhappiness, moodiness, or jumpiness, not as signs of a "psychiatric disorder" but as evidence of something wrong in a family that can be remedied with the right interventions. Without blaming parents, Wedge describes how she helps the family system as a whole, treating it as a living organism with an amazing capacity for self-healing. In her "strategic therapy toolbox" are such methods as getting parents not to fight or discuss financial matters in front of kids (children may have a tendency to exaggerate their parents' problems in their own minds), encouraging parents to speak positively about their lives, and learning to identify significant events in a child's life that may be related to when a problem behavior began. Like a clever detective, the author allows the child to guide her to the heart of a family's problems. Interweaving a range of fascinating case studies, Wedge proves that the road to a child's healing can often be successfully navigated without the use of labels and potentially harmful meds. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Like a clever detective, [Wedge] allows the child to guide her to the heart of a family’s problems.” (Publishers Weekly)

“I highly recommend this book to doctors, mental health professionals, educators, and parents.” (Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia)

More About the Author

"This is a brilliant book. It is interesting and compelling to read and it really does give a reasonable alternative to drugs. The question I found myself asking repeatedly while reading it, is why don't we use effective family therapy before prescribing drugs all the time? It clearly works and Wedge is an insightful, talented expert at it. If you or someone you know has a child that is going through issues, before you fill that prescription for a drug READ THIS BOOK. Trust me, you will be so glad you did." Shannon Devereaux Sanford, WTBQ Radio, New York, about Suffer the Children.

Marilyn Wedge is a family therapist, author, and popular speaker, with more than twenty years of experience helping children, teens, and families. She is the author of two books on family therapy and is currently at work on a third. She has blogs on the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

She can be found at www.marilynwedgephd.com and www.sufferthechildren.net.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Dr. Wedge is a genius.
Happy
This book is essential reading for all therapists who treat children and for every parent of a troubled child in treatment or thinking about getting treatment.
jeepers
Anyone who reads this book will have a better understanding of human dysfunction, potential, and promise.
Orina Lisson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Katie Luther VINE VOICE on February 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to assign a star rating to this book. On the one hand, I think that Wedge's message about the perils of over-labeling and over-medicating young children is an important one, and I appreciate that rather than simply sounding the alarm she also provides ample discussion of a viable alternative--family therapy. And I do think that many of the strategies and insights she notes as a family therapist could prove to be useful alternatives to drugs and psychiatric labeling in situations like those she describes. It's well known even to undergraduate psychology students that often when a child is labeled as "disturbed" the individual is merely the "designated patient," whose distress both draws from and distracts from the larger issues at play. Wedge explores this phenomenon thoroughly, usually without blaming the parents overtly, and demonstrates some ways to "trick" the family into backing off of this ruinous strategy.

On the other hand, I was bothered by several things about Wedge's proposed solution, and how she presents it. She seems to believe that family therapy is the cure for every ill, and if it doesn't work, well, either the parents weren't doing it right or they just didn't stick with it long enough. I'm not arguing that she shies away from medication too much. Rather, I believe she is somewhat blind to the bigger picture of a person's life. The family is huge, but it's not the only thing. School, work, social pressures, finances, and so many more things are also at play. Wedge seems to think parents are always in complete control of all these factors, that they can simply resolve to fix things and make it so. In one instance, a child is in distress because the family is about to lose their home, due to the prolonged financial downturn.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jill Daniel on March 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When my son was in preschool, he was having some attention-related problems and showing some hostility towards his teachers. The director of the school abruptly called a meeting with me and my son's father one day and basically threatened us by saying, if we didn't take our son to a behavioral psychologist for an evaluation, then they probably wouldn't keep him at the school. Though my son's father and I knew instinctively that there was nothing wrong with our son, we felt unsure because of the authority of the school coming down on us. Yes, our son was acting up but the bottomline truth was this place was simply the wrong preschool for him. A year later he was in a different preschool thriving with no sorts of comments from his teachers except what a wonderfully happy, friendly child he was. I preface my review of Marilyn Wedge's book with that story because I think that often a school or other authority figure is quick to label a child who may not be the most perfectly behaved little tot! Or, at times, teachers might even be looking for something that is wrong in the child more so than what is right. Marilyn's approach is scientific yet deeply caring-she practices what is called, "Strategic Child-Focused Family Therapy" and tells many case studies of families who had so called, "problem children", that she helped without needing to recommend medication or a giving a label diagnosis to those children. Marilyn is clearly opposed to medicating children unless it's an absolute last resort, stating that "taking a child to a psychiatrist for med checks has become as socially acceptable as taking a boy or girl to basketball practice or dance class. It is just one more stop on a soccer mom's hectic driving schedule.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ann Bateson on April 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read part of the book while working out on a stationary bike and I must say that, in that context, the book is a page turner. Each case has, in addition to compassion, the interest of a puzzle to figure out the family behavior responsible for the child's misbehavior. It is very sad to think that some children could be incorrectly treated with very strong drugs when a simple understanding of the family issues and dynamics is all that is needed to change the situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tiffany on January 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone who is around kids, parent, teacher, nanny... The author mostly gives many personal examples of how she uses family therapy to "medicate" children as opposed to giving them pills that are potentially very harmful to the development of children. Very well written and insightful, I've been recommending this book to everyone I know!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawn on June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book was something I read about online and was fortunate enough to be able to get from the local library. This book should be required for all parents, teachers, and especially psychiatrist who are more inclined to prescribe first and ask questions later. What I found fascinating about this book is although she doesn't come right out and give specifics for parents, you can certainly read between the lines and see the importance of how you interact with your children and spouse.

I recently checked out her first book, Suffer the Children, and I am expecting the same greatness in that work as well. This book is worth the money and if parents are willing to work hard, they can change the family dynamic without chemically altering their child's brain and brain functions.
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