30 Positive Quotes To Help You Rid Your Life Of Negativity And Live Like An Optimist

With all that’s going around in the world and maybe even in your personal life, it can be difficult to stay optimistic. Still, we must somehow try to find ways to be optimistic no matter what life throws at you.

It is easy to fall victim to negative thought and to allow negativity to consume you. Training yourself to be optimistic is a way to bring happiness to both yourself and others.

Optimism even has numerous health and life benefits. For instance, some believe that optimism can help entrepreneurs succeed in their work. Similarly, in our daily lives, an optimistic outlook could help us relentlessly pursue and ultimately achieve our wildest dreams and goals. Optimism also promotes happiness, something we all strive for.

A little taste of optimism can go a long way. A few inspirational words can help bring out that optimism and remind us of all of the positive things in life.

Words have magical powers because they can move us, make us feel good and positive, and incite us to take action. That is why quotes are so well-loved by people, who sometimes want words of affirmation or just that extra push.


Without further ado, let’s check out these 30 optimistic quotes that will inspire you to be more positive.

1. Embrace the uncertainty.

“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.” — Mandy Hale

2. Choose kindness.

“The world is filled with nice people. If you can’t find one be one.” — Nishan Panwar

3. Hard times don’t last forever.

“Be strong because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it never rains forever.” — Unknown

4. The possibilities are endless.

“Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you ever imagined.” — Unknown

5. Embrace your imperfections.

“Real are never perfect and perfect are never real.” — Rita Pereira

6. Patience is a virtue for a reason.

“Everything will fall into place, just be patient.” — Unknown

7. Not everything is meant for us.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” — Helen Keller

8. Optimism attracts happiness.

“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” — Mary Lou Retton

9.  Distance yourself from negativity.

“Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.” — Unknown

10. Let your dreams guide you.

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” — Roy T. Bennett

11. You will make it.

12. Appreciate what you have.

“Each morning you wake be thankful, grateful and appreciate who you are, you have life, you’re blessed and you’re beautiful.” — Unknown

13. Don’t be afraid to be a dreamer.

“I am and always will be the optimist, the hoper of far flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.” — Doctor Who

14. Happiness is the goal.

“Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness.” — Mark Twain

15. Always look on the bright side.

“Turn your face towards the sun, and the shadow fall behind you.” — Unknown

16. Everything is a lesson.

“I am strong, because I’ve been weak. I am fearless, because I’ve been afraid. I am wise, because I’ve been foolish.” — Unknown

17. There is a bright side to everything. Find it.

“No one ever injured their eyesight by looking at the bright side.” — Unknown

18. It’s just one day.

“Don’t make a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.” — Unknown

19. If you can’t find door, just make one.

“I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door- or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” — Rabindranath Tagore

20. Become the best version of yourself.

“Give yourself permission to become who you already know you are.” — Unknown

21. Your inner light is more powerful than any darkness on the outside world.

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” — Maya Angelou

22. Our cracks reveal how strong we are.

“One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” —​ Linda Poindexter

23. You always end up where you need to be.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” — Douglas Adams

24. The world is full of opportunities.

“The world is ripe with new opportunities and chances. It’s up to you whether or not you’re going to take them.” — Unknown

25. Always choose light.

“Life is a fragile dance between light and darkness. Always choose the light.” — Unknown

26. Life is all about learning.

“Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories.” — Unknown

27. The bigger our obstacles, the sweeter our victories.

“The greater your storm the brighter your rainbow.” — Unknown

28. Tomorrow will be a better day.

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” — Maya Angelou

29. Optimism isn’t easy but it’s worth it.

“Pessimism isn’t smarter than optimism. In this life, the bravest thing can be is optimistic.” — Iris West

30. Speak optimism into existence.

“The eternal optimist very rarely speaks on the negative things. She/he realizes how ridiculously common they are. She realizes speaking on them – gives them more power than they deserve, and, in the end, chooses to redistribute that power to something she can actually use.” — Doc Waller


8 Scary, Long-Lasting Effects Of Having Narcissistic Parents

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Photo: Google

By: Craig Malkin/YourTango.com

Narcissistic parents are abusive.

“Character is the trace of relationship,” wrote Christopher Bollas, the brilliant post-Freudian psychoanalyst, in his ominously titled but infinitely hopeful book, The Shadow of the Object.

This, he concluded, is how any personality is born. What happens to the development of our personality when we live in the shadow of narcissistic parents? Here are 8 of the most common effects that can impact a person’s entire life.

1. You continually blame yourself.

Narcissistic parents may or may not be openly abusive, but they’re almost certainly emotionally tone deaf, too preoccupied with their own concerns to hear our pain. Because emotionally sensitive children who long for love can’t simply walk out the door and find a new family, they often nurture hope by sacrificing their self-esteem.

“I’m the problem,” they tell themselves. “If I were quieter, calmer, or happier, my mother wouldn’t yell at me, ignore me, or criticize me all the time. If I fix myself, I’ll finally be loved.” Sadly, we often blame ourselves for what’s missing from our lives to preserve a shred of hope.

2. You tolerate narcissism in your other relationships.

If you’re particularly sensitive or empathic by nature, you’re more likely to respond to narcissistic parenting with a stance I call echoism, named after the nymph Echo, who was cursed to repeat back the last few words she heard. Just as Narcissus fell in love with his reflection, Echo fell in love with Narcissus.

3. You become insecure in your own relationships.

Think of secure attachment as our degree of comfort with becoming close to and depending on others in healthy ways. The neglect, abuse, or emotional absence of a narcissistic parentcan make us question how safe we are in other people’s hands.

Roughly speaking, insecure attachment can take two forms: avoidant attachment, in which we manage our fears by shutting people out (I’ll never risk depending on anyone ever again!) and anxious attachment, where we chase after love, pursuing — sometimes angrily — the connection we long for with our loved ones (Why won’t you pay attention to me?).

4. You become needy.

A related problem is something I call need-panic. Narcissistic parents can make their children terrified of their needs, who bury them by becoming compulsive caretakers or simply falling silent. They may hum along for a while, seeming to need nothing from their partners or friends.

Then, a crisis hits, and suddenly — in ways they find deeply unsettling — they call their friends incessantly or seek constant reassurance. The quickest way to eliminate a need, after all, is to get it met immediately; paradoxically, the people most afraid of their needs are apt to seem the most “needy.”

5. You learn to be independent.

Outgoing, adventurous children may respond to narcissistic parenting by abandoning emotional intimacy altogether, believing that no one can be trusted or relied on. This is impossible to sustain, naturally, and can easily engender intermittent need panic.

Alternatively, children with more sensitive temperaments may become compulsively selfless caretakers, as if the only way they can enjoy nurturance is vicariously by providing others with the warmth and caring they never enjoyed.

6. You become a people-pleaser.

Temperamentally sensitive children (who are often gifted empaths) can develop a laser-like focus on their parents’ needs. They organize their lives around the happiness of others, convinced they have to bolster their parents’ esteem (Of course you’re pretty!) or prevent their next explosion (I’ll get your snack… you’re stressed!) by closely minding their every desire or whim.

7. You become just as, or even more, narcissistic as your parents.

The more aggressive a child is by nature, the more likely they are to respond to narcissistic parenting by playing a game of if you can’t beat them, join them: “I’ll just make sure I’m the loudest, prettiest, smartest person in the room. That way no one can make me feel unimportant again.”

If you’re born with a stubborn, bombastic temperament and exposed to the kind of neglectful or abusive parenting narcissists often provide, you’re more likely to end up narcissistic yourself.

8. You jeopardize your own health by constantly stressing yourself out.

Abuse throws us into a state of constant alertness, vigilantly prepared to dodge the next danger. This typically leads to chronic anxiety, sudden memories of abuse, emotional numbing, and even a foreshortened sense of future, in which people become so fixed on simply surviving that they lose the ability to imagine life beyond the present.

The 10 Most Romantic Honeymoon Destination Ideas For 2018

best romantic honeymoon destination ideas 2018

By: Paula Moooey/Your Tango com


Start off your wedded bliss in these idyllic locations

Your honeymoon getaway ought to be the best vacation of your life, and it certainly can be, if you handle the arrangements properly. You want to pick the best and most romantic honeymoon destination possible — perfect for setting the mood.

That’s why we’ve done the research for you to help narrow down your choices.

Here are 10 of the most romantic honeymoon destination ideas for 2018:

1. Bora Bora

This set of islands in French Polynesia is the stuff of honeymoon fantasies. The water is crystal clear, with green-covered mountains in the background. For accommodations, you might have a private, over-the-water cottage with your own patch of beach. There’s also a large coral reef not far offshore, which is perfect for snorkeling in the beautiful water.

2. Paris

Perennially regarded as the most romantic city in the world, it’s no wonder Paris is a popular destination. From five-star hotels to gorgeous city views, there’s nothing lacking in this dreamy metropolis.

3. Bali

This island in Indonesia is nicknamed Isle of the Gods. Doesn’t that sound like a heavenly vacation spot? Along with the beautiful scenery and culture of the island, it’s also excellent for privacy. Don’t miss the sunsets over the Indian Ocean. Hike up to the top of the surrounding cliff for the best views.

4. Venice

Aside from the beautiful hotels that are right on the water and the amazing history of the town, Venice is an incredibly romantic place. What could be better than a quiet gondola ride through the Grand Canal with your sweetie?

5. Cape Town

Located in South Africa, Cape Town has amazing beaches, beautiful landscape, and plenty to do. It’s the perfect place to visit if you love outdoor recreation. You can swim, surf, or participate in other beach activities. You can also trek around the nearby mountains, and take in the beauty of the land.

6. Harbour Island

This island in the Bahamas that’s open to the public offers white sandy beaches, the clearest water you’ve ever seen, and total serenity while you sip drinks on the beach. Though there’s plenty to do, you may not wish to leave the ocean’s edge.

7. Orkney

Orkney is a popular island destination off the coast of Scotland. It’s located off the northern archipelago and is perfect for those who dream of a honeymoon on green land by the sea.

8. Florence

Italy is such a romantic country altogether that it should be no surprise to see a second city on this list. Florentine culture is rich and oozing with history. The city is also an ideal base camp if you’re looking to explore multiple nearby Mediterranean cities. Rome, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast are all not far away.

9. Aruba

For honeymooners looking to sit by the beach and relax, Aruba is an excellent choice. It has near-perfect weather all year long, with beaches that stretch the length of the 20-by-6-mile island. If you get bored lounging around the poolside, there are restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, spas, and local events to attend.

10. Santorini

Greece is a hot travel destination for the upcoming year, and Santorini is a dreamy place. You can stay in a hotel on the Grecian cliffs overlooking the water. The beaches are composed of the red-and-black sand and bright blue water that’s specific to the Mediterranean Sea. It also has its own vineyards, which makes wine tasting an ideal part of your trip.

Start your marriage off right. Your spouse will be impressed with any of these choices, and you’ll build meaningful memories from the start.

Paula Mooney is an author or multiple books (mostly written under pseudonyms) about love and relationships. Her work has also been featured in numerous national media outlets, like Yahoo, Examiner and others.

5 Things That Will 100% KILL Your Relationship (Unless You Stop NOW)

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By David Schroeder/yourtango.com

Let’s be honest …

At times, no matter how solid your relationship may be, it will experience challenges.

Disagreements and conflict are simply facts of life, and are certain to arise.

Here are 5 of the most common sources of relationship troubles, so you can identify what is going on and get yourselves back on track.

1. Having expectations of how you should be loved.

There is a natural human desire for love and acceptance. When this desire turns into an expectation, it often leads to disappointment and demands.

Truth is, no one can love you as you want to be loved, because no other person can be you. We each love another person based on how we perceive and understand love. So your partner loves you the best they know how, given their current understanding and belief about love.

If you have expectations for how you want to be loved and feel frustrated your partner isn’t “getting it,” you are suggesting the person should know you the way you do. This is unrealistic, and a setup for the relationship to remain challenging and unfulfilling for both of you.

2. Letting your past experiences shape your ongoing beliefs about love.

Both you and your partner come from different life experiences. You didn’t share the same parents, childhood experiences, living space, etc., so it is natural that both of you will have different perspectives and belief systems around the way relationships “should be.”

Based on each of your unique experiences, perspectives and beliefs, you are both right and living your own truth regarding expressing loving and being in a relationship.

Somewhere in the middle of both of your perspectives and truths is the actual truth of how the two of you can best give and receive love and be in relationship.

To find that mid-point, you must both be willing to accept the other’s point of view and, from there, work at finding common ground.

Relationships becomes more challenging and taxing when we resist and refuse to accept the other’s perspectives and ways.

3. Allowing your need to be right to be more important than your need to be happy.

One of the biggest relationship challenges of all is the need to be right.

This need causes power struggles, mistrust, and conflict in relationships. This need to be right has a negative impact on communication, setting and achieving relationship goals, cooperation with financial issues, and intimacy and sexual struggles.

If you need to be right above all else, your partner will feel judged, unimportant, insignificant, unloved and under-valued for who they are. What make relationships work is when both partners align with the relationship, not themselves.

Your challenge is to see the value in your partners views and beliefs and to consider their points of view. This helps broaden your perspective of your partner’s experience, and deepens the meaning of the relationship.

Doing this promotes inner happiness, and shows your partner you care about them, value their perspective, and value your relationship with them.

4. Sweeping important issues under the rug.

Many relationship concerns and issues get ignored, overlooked, and buried because of the daily rush around work, raising kids and meeting other needs and obligations. These demands leave little to no time or energy for partner-to-partner discussion.

Maybe one or both of you dread confrontation and conflict, or maybe you just don’t make the time to talk things out and work through issues together. Sweeping  problems under the rug is avoidance, which only leads to bigger challenges and problems arising later on. You can only avoid an issue for so long before it shows its ugly self in the way of resentment, tension, arguments, and mistrust.

As the saying goes, “What you resist will persist.”

Learn to accept and deal with issues and conflict as they happen to avoid greater conflict and hurt in the future. Use constructive problem-solving skills and seek to be proactive rather than reactive within the issue and the discussion around problem-solving it.

5. Putting your children’s needs first.

As more single and divorced adults are raising children on their own, they continue to seek a suitable life partner. While dating and blending families as a couple can be a wonderful experience, it can also be challenging and difficult, full of frustration, misunderstanding, tension and resentment.

Researcher E. Mavis  Hetherington PhD found that the the divorce rate for second marriages “to be 50 percent higher in remarriages with stepchildren.”

Not all blended families have the same level of complexity, Dr. Hetherington went on to specify that in “simple stepfamilies”  (where only one partner brought a child or children to the new marriage) the overall divorce rate is 65%, whereas when both partners have children from previous relationships (“complex stepfamilies”) the divorce rate is slightly more than 70%.

There is often much resistance and struggle from the children, and a major adjustment for them. Children may feel powerless, because the blending is not their choice. This can cause greater resistance and defiance to one or both partners/parents in the relationship.

Recognizing the struggle and resistance to change in the dynamics of blending a family is vital and on-going. It’s crucial to accept the fact that each person impacted by this change, will move through it in a different way and pace. The importance of being aware of the potential of favoring your child in the relationship over your partner and his or her child is essential.

Couples should find the common ground with ways of parenting, perhaps consulting with a therapist or relationship coach, so that both children and parents feel valued and respected within the transition of blending families.

Challenges and conflict can trigger our past relationship wounds and negative beliefs about ourselves and relationship.

They impact effective communication, goal setting, creating and  achieving common relationship goals, and this creates resentment, mistrust and guardedness with interactions.

Challenges and conflict are indicators that something in the relationship needs to be addressed. They aren’t bad — they are opportunities for learning and growth, both individually and as a couple.

We learn and grow through engaging in our challenges and difficult times, not by avoiding them.

As you face relationship challenges, here are some important concepts to consider: 

  • Rather than spend all your energy and time getting your partner to understand you, seek first to understand your partner as best you can, putting yourself in their perspective and shoes.
  • Listening is the most important part of healthy communication and problem-solving.  Ask questions, mirror back to them what you hear, to gain greater understanding and clarity of their view. This shows you value and care about that person and their point of view.
  • Seek win-win outcomes.
  • Be assertive (speaking your truth with words of peace) in addressing concerns without blame.
  • Identify the problem you’re having, your feelings and beliefs around it. Using “I”  statements, express to your partner the problem you have and your feelings because of this, , and make a request (not a demand) for what you need or don’t need to address the problem.
  • Within each situation, be honest, open and willing to find the common ground between each other.

To accept and engage in our relationship challenges and conflicts is to open the door to greater possibilities, both to live and to grow.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed social worker, certified life coach, and author of “Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit his website: transitionpathways.com.

How To Get Through The Loneliness Of Being So Single It Hurts

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By: Emily Blackwood/your tango.com



We’ve all been there.

The saying “When it rains, it pours,” typically refers to those beautiful moments in life when you’re single , and you have a buffet of male suitors to choose from.

Sadly there’s no magical formula to recreate this phenomena whenever we want because it happens for absolutely no reason what so ever. It’s random, weird, unexpected, and you should never, ever take it for granted because it probably won’t last for more than a week.

Pretty soon, the dating pool you were formerly drowning in completely dries up, and it feels like you’re the only single person within a 150 mile radius. 

The moments of utter loneliness are much more common, and have the capability to make you feel like a real ugly duckling. But you’re not.

You’re still a beautiful swan despite the fact that no other swans are currently hitting you up. 


Now when you’re feeling the effects of a dry spell, it’s easy to get desperate. You download Tinder again for the 40th time.  FaceTime your ex at 2 a.m. and even entertain some flirting from the creepy old guy at the gym, all in a sad attempt to feel better about yourself.

It feels insanely pathetic, but everybody goes through it. You have to ride out this storm of loneliness and the only way to survive is to try to change your perspective every single day.

For some reason dating just isn’t happening right now, and that’s okay. It’s not the only thing worth living for (remember pasta?), and there is a ton of other stuff you can focus on.

Get back in shape or start traveling again. Reconnect with friends or do some of those extra projects for work that you were putting off due to all the sex you were formerly having.


Because no matter how you spend  this uneventful period of your singlehood it will pass. The cycle will continue, and a guy (or a few) will come along again.

Don’t completely lose your mojo — or your dignity — just because you’re currently not on anyone’s radar. 

So spend this time wisely. Don’t get on Tinder,  and don’t call your ex. Find little ways to remind yourself that you’re fine, nothing has really changed and the dating scene will get exciting soon enough.

After all, one of the best parts about being single is getting to do whatever you want. And I highly doubt sitting on your couch moping about how no one likes you is really what you want.

Get off your ass and go live. Your suitors will be here shortly. 

We All Have Baggage — Find Someone Who Will Help You Unpack

We All Have Baggage — Find Someone Who Will Help You Unpack
By Cassie Fox/ blogger/your Tango.com

Showing vulnerability is scary because it’s when we’re at our most human.

How it works is, we’re all a little bit broken. We all come to the table with bags and bags of old hurts and betrayals, bitterness spilling over the sides, insecurities bursting at the seams. We’re held together with glue and string and fuzzy bits of old tape, pieces of us constantly tearing and flaking and falling off.

It’s a wonder when we reach adulthood more or less intact — and a straight up miracle when we find someone who can look through the daily disasters we wear like hopeful armor to see the beautiful steady beating of our survivor’s heart.

There are a lot of people out there in the world who won’t take the time to look past your lasting damage. There’s a persistent image that exists in society, an insistence that happiness is the only acceptable face you can show, because anything less is a reminder of the reality of life.


We come rocketing into this crazy plane of existence, and if we’re lucky, we live a little before we roll right back out of it. That can be terrifying if you haven’t come to terms with it — if you haven’t made peace with our imperfection and our impermanence.

Showing vulnerability is scary because it’s when we’re at our most human. For those who haven’t yet faced the fact of what that means, it’s an emotional Medusa, snakes of uncertainty turning them to stone. Of course they run away the moment they can move again.


Hold out for somebody who’s made it at least as far as you, someone who’s waved a white flag of surrender at their stupid, stubborn mortality the same way you have, who’s gone on in spite of it. Don’t waste your time on somebody still insisting on hiding the broken parts of them behind their back.

For our wounds to heal, we have to bring them out into the light, examine them with a critical eye, apply first aid with a careful, steady, and loving hand. We have to avoid those who rip our bandages off over and over again, exposing our hurt to the air, keeping it painfully fresh.


Instead, we need to seek out someone who has all their bags open on the table too, taking up so much space that there’s barely any room for somebody else to sit down. But there isroom — just enough — and unpacking all that heartache and disappointment in between us together is one of the greatest acts of love there is.

4 Reasons Why ADHD Is An Epidemic In America (But NOT In Europe)


By: Zita Fekete/Your Tango.Com

Our focus is in the wrong place.

Thanks to the challenge made by one professor of pediatrics, the ADHD argument received new momentum recently.

In his published opinion, “ADHD does a disservice to children as a diagnosis,” Dimitri Christakis, of Seattle Children’s Hospital said he considers that the “attentional capacity” varies from individual to individual, situation to situation. Also, he found that the bell curve represents it better than a simple dichotomy of whether someone has ADHD or not.

He is not the first one to challenge the main stream medical model. In a 2012 article published by Psychology Today, Marilyn Wedge, PhD, argued that “French kids don’t have ADHD,” and published her own book stating that ADHD has become an American epidemic.

Though it makes complete sense to look at ADHD as a spectrum, in and of itself does not explain the difference in prevalence between Europe and America.

Naturally I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings — especially not the children who are suffering from the disorder, or the parents who have tried everything before they reached for medication. This article does not reference them.

I am talking about children whose dysfunctional behavior is a reflection of the non-biological, mostly emotional imbalances in their environment.

As a European therapist, I see four factors that contribute to the American ADHD excessive occurrence:

1. Children are forced to sit and listen in a school setting instead of getting up and experiencing things first-hand

The makeup of our behavior dates back to the time when our ancestors lived their hunter and gatherer lifestyle. Children learned from the parents and relatives while they lead their everyday life together in groups.

The activity was variable, moving from task to task, while they had a chance to change some words with each other while moving around. The group had to synchronize its activity, but the way how children participated was rather free and self directed.

In today’s schools, children’s activity is not self directed, provides no chance to move around and requires long moments of focused attention with high levels of discipline. This was rarely necessary in ancient times.

Had I been chased through my five, six hours a day, class to class with four minutes breaks in between, like in U.S. middle schools, and had I been given sometimes two or more hours of homework on top of that, I surely would have a shortened attention span. I would fidget, and I bet I would burst out in heavy cursing, quite often without a crumb of ADHD.

Would you not?

In other words, the present day school expectations are unrealistic and not age appropriate in many cases.

2. There is less emphasis on structure and discipline

Growing up in Hungary and living in Germany for six years, I agree with Marilyn Wedge. In Europe, there is more emphasis on discipline, structure and compliance than in the U.S., although every culture differs from each other in certain aspects.

Limits, structure, routine, consequence — they are not equal with authoritative parenting style or rigidity, and far away from helicopter parenting.

In my case, it meant I had to be obedient with my parents and teachers. Had I not, there were consequences. There were rules I had to keep; there was a flexible, but steady, daily rhythm we were exposed to.

We had to wait while everybody sat down to the table and everybody finishes. There was very little TV time.

School had 45 minutes classes with 10 or 15 minutes in between. We had enough time to arrange everything in breaks, therefore we were not allowed to leave the classroom for the restroom, or eat or drink during class.

Being loud, bothering others was never allowed and we had to be polite. We even had to give our place to elderly people on the bus.

Naturally, the discipline what our parents provided translated into self-discipline as we grew up. That parental boundary setting doesn’t exist in America.

3. Over-diagnosing is commonplace

In Hungary, I was trained to give mental health diagnosis very carefully because of the possible devastating effects. We observed patients for two weeks in different group settings and in individual therapies. We did multiple tests with them.

After two weeks, the whole staff (psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses) would sit together, discuss their experiences and come up with a cautious diagnosis.

We would never diagnose teenagers with psychosis, only “teen age disturbances” knowing that this age is rather turbulent and it might resolve as they grow older. Psychosis manifests itself mostly in young adulthood, not earlier. There was no way to diagnose children with bipolar disorder or other psychosis, with the exception of (very rare) hebephrenic schizophrenia.

In the US, it is common to diagnose children with the most severe mental illnesses in comparison to what we consider as nonsense in Europe. I live with the suspicion that in many cases ADHD diagnosis goes out with the same ease.

It is convenient to think in the medical model. If we can put struggling children in one medical category, we can assume that the problem is solved.

Instead of coming up with an alternative (less medicated) solution — exhausting activities, exercises, structure, routine, reward, consequences, sufficient time for sleep — the child is given medication to keep them from bothering anyone without the need for re-evaluating the effectiveness of the system.

Problem solved? No. Symptom solved.

4. Medication is thought to be the only solution

The pills that we use to influence the brain contain serious chemicals — many of them terribly addictive. Until we know exactly how the brain functions differently in ADHD (which hasn’t happened yet), the treatment is mostly statistical trial and error. In some cases it makes the symptom disappear, but in many cases it does not.

I can accept it as the last resort when the behavior of the child is SO troublesome that it restricts his or her achievement or social life — but more often than not, this isn’t the case.

Do we face biologically based ADHD or an “undisciplined” child, perhaps with partially delayed development?

Whether or not we medicate the child, this is the most important way we can help them; by giving structure, limits, appropriate exercises, enough sleep, interesting activities, appropriate diet, predictable daily rhythm, lots of attention and patience together with ever present consistence.

I know — it’s an incredibly exhausting feat for parents.

But, sorry to deliver the bad news — no pill can replace it.

The unrealistic, age-inappropriate expectations in the public schools, the inconsistent socialization of small children, the dominance of the medical model in the culture and the pharmaceutical industry’s interest for profit are all contributors to the ADHD over-representation in America.