My 4-year-old son has a bit of a cough, and it’s starting to interfere with his sleeping a little bit. I don’t think it’s more than a cough (not running a fever, he doesn’t have a sore throat, he’s eating normally, peeing and pooping normally, and overall seems in a good mood. He’s just coughing a lot.
Yesterday morning he woke up extra early at 5 a.m. and was coughing quite a bit. Dr. Dad (and by the way, this is an honorific title bestowed upon me by myself, with absolutely no training to back it up) prescribes a little Chestal, a kid’s confectionary cough medicine designed exactly for these purposes. My wife, also not an MD, concurred with my diagnosis.
Only one problem. Complete refusal of the drug. My son is channeling Nancy Reagan, and is just saying No To Drugs. He is running, kicking and screaming, saying “NO, NO, NO” in a tone usually reserved for nightmares about people who live on Elm Street
I wheedled. I cajoled. I even yelled. I promised chocolate treats and extra TV. I threatened the removal of privileges, including said TV. I gave him a timeout so that he would listen better. I threatened to throw out his bow and arrow and his cardboard box rocketship that he made in school. I was getting ready to take away playdates with his best friend Miles. I even went so far as to make a list of the things he would not be allowed to do in the future, including a ride in his beloved Barbie car that resides at my wife’s aunt’s farm in Indiana, and is the highlight of his summer. Nothing moves this kid.
Several times he agrees to try the medicine, and I get hopeful, and out came the spoon of honey-filled medicine, only for him to refuse and run away. And now I have to put down the spoon, get him, and bring him back, and start the cajoling process all over again. At least once I got so far as to smear the medicine all over his face in a vain attempt that the medicine will work by skin contact alone. (a lot of it also landed on the floor, and my shoe has been sticky for a day now as a result)
After about 40 minutes of all this, I manage to get him to ingest a teaspoon (along with complaints that this stuff tasted worse than the worst stuff ever, that he prefers his mom, and that I was no longer a shoo-in for dad of the year )
And we are off to school.
By the time we are at school, he is once again a happy kid. The bad taste in his mouth (literally) is forgotten.
I, however, am dreading my next encounter as a drug-pushing dad.
Any helpful tips or best practices on how you lure your child into taking meds, I would highly appreciate (and I don’t mean HIGHly). Please post them in the comments.
Jason Greene says
Very funny. My oldest son (8) has been taking medication twice a day since he was three, so he has never had a problem taking medicine. My daughter (6) however can be quite difficult. We usually run the gambit of bribing, threatening, and pleading. She always ends up taking it though, so I suppose until she completely refuses and I lose out on giving it to her, I’ll continue with what we’ve been doing. It isn’t fun, but it eventually works.