When it comes to children, I am a firm believer that if they have behavioral issues, medication is usually not the best treatment.
That said, every child and every family is different. We all need to do what is best for our situation. But in general it seems that kids are too quickly labeled and prescriptions are too quickly prescribed. There is so much that can be done, besides administering pills, to help our children.
As part of the TLC Book Tour, I recently read "Pills are Not For Preschoolers" A Drug-Free Approach for Troubled Kids, by Marilyn Wedge. A family therapist for more than twenty years, Wedge believes in treating children's problems not as biologically determined disorders but as responses to relationships in their lives. She teaches how to respond to symptoms of ADHD, depression and anxiety by making family modifications, instead of prescriptions.
More than five million American children are currently diagnosed with ADHD and other psychiatric disorders. A great number of children experience dangerous emotional and physical side effect from the medications prescribed to help with the diagnoses. Often troubled parents wonder if there are other choices. And there ARE other choices.
It used to be that when children were having behavioral issues, they were sent away to get "fixed". But, this approach had a very low success rate. Why? Because even though the children changed, learned and improved, they came home to their same old environment. Their family had not changed. And as a result, they went right back to their old ways.
So much of our children's behavior is a result of their environment. We have talked about his here on Family Volley a number of times. It is hard to accept, but WE can contribute to our children's misbehavior. And misbehavior is usually a response to stress, anxiety, sadness, and problems that they feel as a result of their environment and the people in it.
"Pills Are Not For Preschoolers" works through a number of different examples from Wedges career. And demonstrates how with good child-focused therapy, pills are the last thing that need to be prescribed.
Children are smart. They pick up on financial strain, marital stress, health issues, life-stress, frustration, impatience and every other family situation and emotion that we juggle. They respond to the situations by misbehaving. They are also always looking for attention. Attention for doing something good or bad, is still getting them attention.
Wedges' Drug Free Approach is a must read for all parents. The book is hopeful and encouraging and promotes the same philosophies we talk about here on FV. As you read, you will feel enlightened and empowered as a parent.
Want to refresh your memory as to how you can change your child's behavior? Review a few favorites here on the blog. One-on-One Time, Avoid the Red Pen, Listen First, Choices, and Commitment.
How do you feel about Medicating Children?