Medicating toddlers

Discussion in 'Other Conversation' started by Jackie, May 19, 2014.

  1. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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  3. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    Even if the kid is "extreme", I wouldn't medicate before maybe age 6 or more likely 7. I might, on the other hand, give a toddler a small cup of coffee... maybe some Chinese herbs, vitamins... or more likely, cut out all sugars, red dye, other additives, from his diet.
     
  4. CrazyMom

    CrazyMom Banned

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    I hate the idea of medicating kids for behavior issues, but I have to admit, it's not something I've ever had to deal with as a parent. Elle was always a calm focused kid. Even as a toddler, she was extremely reasonable and easy to get along with. I'd like to frown on the parents who do this, but there's a nagging concern that I have never walked a mile in their shoes.

    I remember we had a girlfriend of mine from highschool come to stay with us for a few days when both our daughters were three. My friend's daughter's behavior went beyond the typical "live wire" toddler and it was something she was seriously concerned about.

    Mostly because of safety issues. This little girl had no impulse control. If you could slow her down enough to talk things through, she understood the rationale of NOT running between cars in a parking lot, NOT grabbing the face of a dog you don't know to give him a hug, NOT standing precariously on a chair to try to reach something on the stove without asking for help.....but these were really common mistakes for her that had had some really terrifying consequences. No impulse control. It was not a matter of discipline...her mother was on top her behavior...but this little girl could wear out a hummingbird. She was just so neon intense.

    Additionally, this kid was revved from 5AM to almost 11PM. Her mom watched her diet, was doing absolutely everything she could think of...did NOT want to do medications. About two days into our visit, Elle gave me an exasperated look and asked me (privately) when are they going home? She said she liked the other little girl, but she was tired!

    The next morning, Elle slept in for the first time in three days, completely dead to the world. The little girl was in tears because she didn't understand why Elle didn't want to play....and when I said, honey, she's just tired, she'll be awake in a couple of hours...it just wouldn't do. My girlfriend was near tears, because she was scared her daughter "wore out her friends" and would not be able to sustain friendships in school.

    At the end of four days with this little girl, I had a WHOLE NEW appreciation for what parents of kids with attention issues go through....how it could impact their safety, their ability to have friends, a lot of stuff that never even occurred to me.

    Again, the idea of medicating sounds terrible....but I've never been there and lived it. I know the safety issues with very poor impulse control...scare the hell out of me.
     
  5. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    I HAVE lived through it to some extent with Faythe, but not to that point. She had difficulty focusing, easily distracted, constantly moving, driving her AWANA and dance instructors up the wall. I've no doubt that if I weren't homeschooling, they'd be pushing to medicate her. And it runs in both our families. My younger brother was medicated 50 years ago, when it wasn't done. (He literally was climbing up the bookcase in Kindergarten and jumping off!!!). Carl's brother also; his mom literally "tied" him (loosely) to the bed with yarn during nap time. The gentle "tug" when he would go to get up would remind him not to, and a firm tug would have broken the yarn if there was an emergency.

    I know there are exceptions...there will ALWAYS be exceptions...but I honestly believe much of "ADHD" is being diagnosed by TEACHERS, rather than DOCTORS. TEACHERS complain and complain and complain to Mom about their child's behavior, and INSIST the parents' medicate. I've had some parents say that they WERE NOT PERMITTED to bring their child back until he was medicated! And, with the increasing number of kids in "preschool", it's happening younger and younger. And then the parents are often looking for something to blame their bad parenting on. Also, I honestly believe using TV/Video for babysitting does something to their brain and makes them more ADHD.

    When I was teaching, we had a parent volunteer who brought her two younger kids with her. Both of these children really were a delight. Sometimes, when Mom was working outside in the hall, she would let the younger one (boy) run around in the gym. One of the teachers actually told her she needed to have him medicated because he ran around the gym "all the time". Yet I would just as often come by and see him sitting quietly under the table, looking at books. He was nothing more than a typical 3yo.
     
  6. CrazyMom

    CrazyMom Banned

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    Jackie, I agree that medication is used far too often with kids. I also agree that pediatric behavior professionals need to make any evaluations/diagnoses...and not teachers/schools. If I were a parent in such a situation, I wouldn't hesitate to tell the teacher, "Did you know that practicing medicine without a license is illegal in this state?" That's inexcusable. That said, I wouldn't reject a request for a professional evaluation. Never hurts to hear the experts out. Doesn't mean you'll always agree with them, but hearing what they have to say can be pretty helpful. Sometimes there are a lot of different options and advice you'll miss out on if you have too closed a mind.

    I want to watch my comments on this topic because I don't have any experience going through this with my own child and I have seen a mom (who tries as hard as the best out there)...really struggle and fear for her child's safety. I always try to keep those exceptions in mind. Not everyone who medicates is a lazy parent or a monster.

    I think anyone...teacher parent or otherwise...who would "diagnose" someone else's kid on a few observed behaviors in passing, and insist medication is the answer....is a loon. Medication is a serious decision that should be treated as a last resort. It shouldn't be an off the cuff decision...ever.

    Particularly, in the situation you describe. Of course a three year old would be revved up and excited to be in a gym! It would be a new experience for him. What a fantastic discovery....a place indoors where you're ALLOWED to run around and play. Even if he were bouncing off the walls...I don't know how anyone would take such an isolated observance as "needing medication."

    I don't buy into TV/Video itself worsening ADHD per se....BUT...I do think it's often employed as a means to avoid dealing with the problem. Too much tube time is a missed opportunity to practice self-regulating behavior, and gain the skills needed to do this successfully. When you're sticking your kids in front of the TV as a means of dealing with their behavior instead of addressing it, and working the problems....that's a legitimately serious drawback. Again, though, I'm no expert on this.
     
  7. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    I've read reports about how TV actually changes the way the brain works. But for every "professional" who says one thing, there's a dozen who says otherwise ;).

    We actually just came back from Panera. There was a preschool girl who was running full-speed around the place. Eventually, a young lady came by, seeming to be "looking". I asked her if she were looking for a little girl, then pointed the way she went. The lady smiled, said thanks, and went on. A few minutes later, the little girl was running around again, and then hid under the table. I laughed, and told Carl that "obviously" the kid needed medicated :D! Seriously, though, I felt it was more of a parenting problem. I'm not saying my kids would have "never" ran around like that, but I would have been right on it and once I got hold of the child, his little fanny would have been plopped down on the chair in no uncertain terms!!! I also would have had something for them to draw with or look at or something, and might have said that "if you're good", when we leave here we can (run at the park, watch a video at home, go to the library, etc.). But it didn't even occur to me that the child was doing anything other than being a child.

    Again, I DO know there are exceptions! People like your friend are the reason I don't fuss about putting one of those backpack "leashes" on kids. It really IS a safety issue, NOT an "abuse" issue! In my mind, abuse would be allowing the kid to run wild instead of doing whatever needs to be done to help control him.
     
  8. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    I had one of those for my so-not-hyper daughter so that I could shop instead of looking for her all the time in the clothes racks and the other side of the store in the toys. They didn't have backpack leashes then, so what I had was an actual long dog leash, snapped on around the back of her overalls or back belt loop. I got some dirty looks back in those days, but it kept my child from wandering away. By the time DGS got here, there were little halters with leashes, or cute animal backpacks. Looks like I was ahead of my time! LOL
     
  9. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I agree that treating ADHD in very young children is questionable.

    The title of the thread, however, reminded me of something my wife used to do when we flew long distances with infants (we're talking 8+ hour overnight flights). She had no hesitation giving them a small dose of Benadryl, which made the child feel drowsy and helped enormously. For sure, some people would criticize her for doing that, but with six children in tow and a lot of passengers angry at crying infants, it was a pragmatic solution and did them no harm.
     
  10. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Steve, it may not have been something I'd do, but I'm sure not going to criticize someone for doing it!
     
  11. CrazyMom

    CrazyMom Banned

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    I had one of those leashes for Elle! LOL. But only used it when we were hiking in the mountains:) Hers was serious though..five point para-cord harness...I could suspend her little body from it. If she went over the edge, I'd still have her! LOL. This post sounds demented, but it's a true story! She loved hiking up the edges of canyons with us and going caving. Made me feel safer to have her tied to me or hubby. Worked out pretty well:)
     
  12. sloan127

    sloan127 Active Member

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    Benadryl makes our 8 year old grandboy wired instead of sleepy. His mom found out when he started having hayfever in the Spring a couple of years ago. Glad it worked for your kids. I can certainly relate to traveling with a fussy little one. Whatever works safely to keep everyone sane on long trips!
     
  13. kbabe1968

    kbabe1968 New Member

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    Agreed on the Benedryl not working sometimes. My son would literally bounce off walls. I'm pretty sure they'd want to medicate my son if he were in school. I let him have a cup of coffee on school mornings, it keeps him calm and focused and helps us get thru the day. I will say, too, that he seems to be outgrowing it.
     
  14. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Krista, I think Faythe may have outgrown a lot of her. Or maybe it's maturing, or the excellent parenting she's received (NOT!!!). We've a young lady at co-op who SO reminds me of Faythe! I had her the class I was helping with a few years back, and was able to see within the first five minutes that she needed "special" care. So I told her she was going to be my "special friend" during class, and I would sit right next to her, etc. About the third week, she looked at me and asked, "Why are you sitting by me?" "Because you're my special friend; I LIKE you!" Then she asked, "Couldn't someone else be special this week?" LOL!!! (But I learned later that she pointed me out to her mom one day going into co-op. "That's one of my teachers. She LIKES me!") And I've had her since then. She really has settled down a good bit, and I've told her mom (who has had Faythe in Chemistry) that she will continue to mature....
     
  15. vantage

    vantage Active Member

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    Benadryl in a situation like a long flight is one thing, but I have know people who gave it every night.

    I know one family that has kids that stayed with a friend of the family when parents had to go out of town for something. They asked for the bedtime medicine. It turns out they get Benadryl most nights to put them to bed.

    There many families that come home around 5 30 or 6 pm then put the kids to bed around 730 or 8 and use stuff like that to make them sleep. All so the parents can watch tv, play on the compter, or smoke stuff they ought not.
     
  16. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    Vantage, there are so many things wrong with that on so many levels! We have, admittedly, used Benadryl for DS when he was young and with DGS on occasion just for the purpose of getting them to settle in for sleep, but those times were very few and far between.
     

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