No topic on parenting has been as hot button to me as medication. Two of my children need medication and I have heard it all from unthinking people over it. Some are honestly uninformed and just don’t understand and others choose ignorance. Regardless of this they still feel the need to project their opinions on my children as if they had any idea what it was like parenting my kids.
First though lets discuss the misconceptions. The one that bugs me, the one I hear whispered the most and the one I sometimes hear right to my face is that medicating is the easy way out. If there is one thing I can say with all honesty is that medicating is anything but easy. First the decision to put this in my child’s little body. That was the hardest. To introduce a medication into their system that we can’t have a perfect understanding of simply because we haven’t been medicating children for long enough to understand all the long term effects. The next step is getting a dr to agree with you that your child needs medication. Despite everyone’s claims that this is as simple as asking, it is not at least not through my pediatrician. There were evaluations, referrals, more evaluations and then the agreement. Then lets talk about getting the pills. For certain classes of medications you have to have a paper copy of the prescription taken by courier to the pharmacy. These medications are often name brand only so if you don’t have insurance that’s hundreds of dollars for 30 pills. If you do have insurance its the highest co-pay which for us is 30 dollars. That’s not chump change when you multiply it by 2 for the amount of kids I have on medication and something the need for other medications with it, depending on your child’s needs. Next is the task of actually getting them to take it. Which can be tough. Kids don’t like taking pills. They fight you on it. If you drop your guard and don’t watch them take it, you might end up with a drawer full of pills which is also like a drawer full of money. I can say without a doubt that medication is one of the most exhausting parts of my day.
Next is the “zombie” misconception. My son was on a medication that made him excessively sleepy but he was never check out. He has always been a napper so it wasn’t a huge difference for him to still be sleeping a lot. I have yet to find any medication on the planet that makes my daughter sleepy. From cold medicine to her stimulants nothing makes her tired. What it does is calms her brain down enough to focus.
So with all this, why do I medicate my kids? Because they need it. Because I understand because I need it. I need medication to keep from being depressed. I know I am a better version of myself on medication and I know that my children are better versions on theirs. I also know that the only people that medicating them affects drastically are the 5 that live under my roof, so I have never understood why it is that people get so fired up over it.