*This is an old post from 2011, but I still find it relevant today and it’s kinda funny to think about!*
Thursday, August 18, 2011:
Anyone, who is parent, knows getting (read convincing) a child to take their medicine is tougher than rock climbing, wall climbing, crossing a river infested with crocodiles, rafting in Grade 6 river etc etc etc etc!!!
I have tired different flavors of medicines with kiddo but nothing ever seems to work. She looks at a spoon of medicine, with this strange, inexplicable expression like this one –
AND THIS –
Where there is a medicine, there has to be a BIG NO. This was just the precursor to the challenges ahead. It started with an adamant ‘NO”, and almost rhythmically grew to a wail and then hit a crescendo with a shriek. This is not all, I was quite amazed to see how the sight of a spoonful of strawberry flavored liquid could bring the best out of her (creatively that is!) – “it is ugly”, “yuck how I can I never swallow this thing”, ” can you get this in my favorite color; I prefer purple”, ” WHAT!!! (read very dramatic un-girly response :P) I have never seen Winnie the Pooh or Cinderella having medicines”, “Mom you are like an evil witch Gothel, feeding me with awful stuff to turn me into a frog”. She seriously said that and can you believe! HAW! <Indian substitute for “like really!” You may try it yourself – open your jaw wide and exclaim “hawwww” and let out a groan). Yes, she can pretty much come up with anything to avoid taking her meds.
I did everything in the book. Acknowledged her. Comforted her. Hugged her. AND finally we came down to the negotiating table. I offered the best deals one could think of, like, “uninterrupted TV time?”, “new dress?”, “okay, new barbie?”, “chocolates”, “OKAY, GUESS WHAT?! YOU get to trouble grandma?” (ok, i just made that up), “OK whatever ‘U’ want” but absolutely nothing worked. By this time, I was really holding up air in my stomach and almost belching. Whew. I went all out but nothing. She refused to budge. Feeling frustrated could very well be an understatement in this scenario.
Looking back, I feel this does speak a lot about my girl’s strong will to not succumb to any sorta pressure and emotional blackmail (which never works…yes they are selfish! boohoo). It also makes me wonder if children should join social movements. I mean, once they make up their mind about something, come what may, they’ll never give up, well, unless their demands are met or something better is offered. No wonder children rule the advertising world. <sic>
Anyway, I was literally at wit’s end, when I decided to use ‘negative’ motivation. I was told by one of my ex-bosses that there are times when negative motivation is necessary to get people fired up.
So, I changed my strategy from “you can have it all” to “nothing at all”, followed by, “No barbie dolls, no tom n jerry, no cake, no chips, no, no, no, well, a BIG NO for everything!”. I tried very hard. Really. But, sadly, that didn’t work either and I accepted defeat with humility.
So I sat there blankly looking at the wall, tuning out her tantrums which she specifically targeted to my left ear. I let out a deep breath, while she was happily playing on my side, with her barbie with the smile of victory shining brightly on her face, as if saying “HA! So you think hunh!”.
So, in those few ‘silent’ seconds, I had a moment. What is that one thing which makes even the strongest of people feel weak kneed? It is going to the Doc and taking a shot!
No, I was not going to inject medicine into her. I said, “If you don’t have your medicine, we have to take you for a shot to bring down the fever. Your choice – 8 ml of thick, curd like, strawberry flavored *blaah* med OR a shot, you decide”. I kept my fingers crossed and prayed for a miracle. 🙂 Ok I am exaggerating. Well, I did pray for her to agree. Btw, on the outside, I played my part of a tough mommy with elan, but inside I was like ‘pretty please, I would do anything, pls, pls, pls take ur medicine….like NOW and end this torture!
To say the least, after that, we really didn’t have a ‘problem’. The deal was closed almost instantaneously, plus she got to keep the perks. And, yes, she swallowed the medicine quite reluctantly while really giving me some pretty deadly looks.
And we lived happily ever after…….?
In exactly 6 hrs, we went through it all over again. This time we traded on a movie. Tangled it is this time. 🙂
Circa NOW: Back in 2011 it was often a struggle to get her 5yr ol self to take meds. However, now, when she does get down with an occasional seasonal cold for most part, takes her medicines rather happily. Strangely enough she actually started to like the Strawberry flavored med over time. So, fingers crossed – ALL IS GOOD! 🙂
Some Related Links: