Parents of At Risk Children should be aware of this tendency to over value pleasure when making choices. Parents should frequently talk to their children about the importance of a proper perspective on pleasure. The purpose of pleasure is to get us to do the things we need to do to survive. But, too much pursuit of pleasure can undermine health and well-being.

Many things in life are more important than pleasure!

Just a few examples of common life choices involving pleasure:

1. Diet-A healthy diet means eating foods that we may not consider tasty.

2. Activity-Relaxing on the comfy couch too much undermines physical health.

3. Entertainment-Too much of the wrong kind of entertainment prevents proper brain development. Violent videogames are very bad for at risk kids.

4. Sex- need I say more?

ability to love, impulse control, moral reasonoong


What guides the choices that adults and children make? Is the process of making choices different in at risk children? When we make choices, we factor in immediate pleasure value, long term pleasure value, immediate harm value and long term harm value. We also look to those in authority to help us make choices.

Recent studies show that the brain mechanism involved in making choices is different in those with addiction, antisocial behavior and ADHD. These children and adults tend to put too much emphasis on immediate pleasure value when making choices. They are also not influenced by authority to the same extent others are.

This different method of making choices causes affected children and adults to take risks seeking pleasure.

Genetic Connection Between ADHD, Addiction and Antisocial Behavior


What is well-being? What does your child need for well-being?