Consumed

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I’m sorry I haven’t written my post for a couple of weeks.  My kids have been sick, I’ve had a bit of what they have and, frankly, all of us are plumb tuckered out.  Gauging by what I’ve seen on Facebook, it must be going around.  I have found that the first tell-tale symptoms are whining and a generally sour disposition.  It’s not a stomach thing; it’s not a respiratory thing.  This ailment is the modern day (over)Consumption and I hope your home doesn’t get hit by it.

My kids are suffering from a bad case of the yeses.

The yeses (or, yesses- either is acceptable) is a type of affluenza that has been affecting millions of Americans each year despite a slew of recent developments in treatment, such as high unemployment, tumbling property values, and the success of John Rosemond.  Anyone can be affected by it, but it seems to hit hardest among children aged 2-22.  (Although I’ve heard of especially heinous cases involving 30 year-old men.)  As of yet, there is no test available to confirm that someone has been affected by the yeses, but it can usually be safely diagnosed by a simple review of the symptoms.

  • Do you notice a distortion in the affected person’s facial features at the sound of the word “no”?
  • Does the patient begin speaking in a high-pitched, nasal, and/or sing-song voice when faced with an unpleasant reality?
  • Pay attention to the feet: do you detect a stomping pattern?
  • Do the person’s limbs appear to be flailing wildly?
  • Are there tears present?
  • Do the patient’s eyes appear to be rolling from side to side?

If you’ve answered yes to three or more of these questions, you may be dealing with this specific type of affluenza.  Don’t be alarmed: there ARE cures, but often the entire family must be treated to avoid reinfection.

First, let’s look at the recommended measures for the prevention of affluenza:

  • Always enforce a mandatory waiting period between each request that a person makes and your subsequent answer.  If he/she asks for something, say “I’ll need (x amount of time) to think about it”.
  • Think of the lasting ramifications of your decision regarding the request.  It might feel great to agree to buy the at-risk person (or people) a fifty-dollar video game for no other reason except that he/she asked for it AND made it sound like most fun game ever AND mentioned that it was on sale for TWENTY DOLLARS less than usual.  But, will this hamper the at-risk person’s (or two small people’s) ability to accept the inevitable rejections he/she is likely to experience when he/she asks to have a friend spend the night for the fourth consecutive weekend?
  • When reviewing your decision with the high-risk population, make sure to avoid a lot of explaining.  It’s fine to give a brief overview of why you did or did not decide to allow something, but keep in mind that the words “because I said so” are a powerful tool in the battle against this disease.
  • As with all afflictions, plenty of physical activity (in the form of chores), good sleeping habits, and a healthy diet will go a long way in preventing affluenza and the yeses.

If you or a loved one is already afflicted with this condition, here are some home remedies that have proven effective in the cure:

  • First, quarantine the affected patient in his/her bedroom, taking care to remove or disable any and all electrical devices such as TVs, personal game systems, iPods, and Kindles.  Immediately after doing so, go to another area in the home to develop a treatment plan.
  • Inform the patient’s friends that he/she will be out of commission for at least a week.  The disease is more communicable when there is limited adult supervision, so regular attendance in the classroom is fine, but social events are not.
  • Again, physical activity in the form of chores is a good idea.  Volunteer work with, or for, those who have NOT been affected by the yeses or any other form of affluenza, is recommended and often will provide a quick, but not necessarily long lasting, respite from the affliction.
  • PLENTY of rest.  Early bedtimes really work wonders in this area!

Finally, if- after having tried all of these techniques- you or your family member is still suffering, you might try these drastic measures:

  • Have the affected person view Episode 21 of The Cosby Show, “Theo’s Holiday”.
  • Enlist your curmudgeonly neighbor to come over and give a presentation titled “Back in My Day…”
  • In the car, start listening exclusively to NPR and wonder aloud (and within earshot of the affected person), “Do I really need to own a television at all?”

I hope you avoid getting hit by this, but if you’re experiencing it at all, I hope that these measures work for you the way they are (slowly) working for me!  And, remember, adults are usually the carriers of this disease!

 

(This post was originally published on the Charleston Daily Mail’s Mommyhood blog.)

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