Explaining the importance of meds

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2003
Explaining the importance of meds
2
Mon, 07-13-2009 - 8:44am

Before my 6 year old daughter was prescribed Ritalin, she would kick, punch, or spit at someone in the family 30 or more times a day. The day she took it for the first time it felt miraculous, because although the aggression wasn't gone, it was only once or twice.

Sometimes she resists taking the medication. She might say "But I'm doing good today," or just "I don't want to." I don't think she fully gets what it's for, and I'm not sure of the best way to explain it. To me, it is essential that she take it because without it she doesn't have the self-control to make her safe or pleasant to be around. However, I don't want to give her the impression that the meds "make" her act better-- as a teacher I have worked with children who would put the behavior on the meds (for good or for bad. Either they say they are "only good because of the meds" and don't give themselves any credit for their behavior or blame forgetting the meds for bad behavior). So how do I make her see how important taking it is without making it *too* important?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-13-2009 - 9:14am
Oooo, interesting question. For me, I'm not sure she's going to "get" it at 6 in a way that will self-motivate her to take the meds. We *do* talk about it with our now-12 yr old, and have for years--in part because he's developed good judgement about what level of meds he needs. But back at 7 when he started, he couldn't "see" the difference it made, even though it was really quite stunningly clear. I think that what we told him back then is that the meds make it easier for him to concentrate when he wants to. Thus leaving plenty up to the kid, still--after all, you can misbehave ON meds, too, if it's what you want to do ;}--but also making it clear why you take them. I'd also not make this *any* kind of a choice on her part. If she seems to need some extra incentive or something to take 'em without complaining, I'd go for it. Eventually, it ought to become a smooth part of the day, like getting dressed (like getting dressed is on a good day!)
Megan
Megan
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Mon, 07-13-2009 - 3:19pm

HI


When my DD would ask why, I basically told her she had to take her meds because the Dr said so.

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.