THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Julie M Green Headshot

I Just Did What I Swore I'd Never Do With My Child

Posted: Updated:
MEDICATING YOUNG BOY
MakiEni's photo via Getty Images
Print

I was the best mom -- before I had a child of my own, that is. It was all glaringly obvious to me, everything other parents were doing wrong. I tutted under my breath at what I saw go down at the park, the restaurant, the grocery store... Never, I thought, will I ever do X or Y with my child. When it's my turn, I'll get it right.

But I'm here to tell you, never say never. Because one day you may find yourself standing in a bathroom watching your son brush his teeth (having first blobbed toothpaste all over the counter). You will hand him a small white pill, which he will obligingly place on his tongue. No questions asked, so implicit is his trust in Mommy. Then you will hand him a glass of water and watch him swallow while at the same time fighting down the hard lump in your own throat.

And on that ordinary school morning, you'll remember the promise you once made to yourself. Never will I ever medicate my child for his behaviour. Never will I be that parent.

It was one of those cardinal rules, a conviction held so tightly by my husband and me. Because drugging your child before he's even hit puberty is a cop-out of the worst kind. It's lazy, irresponsible, borderline abusive.

It's pandering to Big Pharma. It's reaching for an easy solution to a complicated problem.

What the hell kind of parent willingly pumps drugs into their little kid's growing body? I'll tell you.

What awful side effects will he endure as a direct result of my actions? How will a given medication affect him in the long run? Will it stunt his growth? Will it lead him to become an addict, a dropout? Will it make him violent, suicidal?

What the hell kind of parent willingly pumps drugs into their little kid's growing body? I'll tell you.

A parent who has exhausted every other avenue, who's read every article and tried every therapy, diet, and methodology under the sun. A parent whose child still cannot control himself, much less understand why his body does what it does. A beautiful, brilliant 7-year-old boy who -- no matter how he tries -- cannot get through an average lesson at school.

A child who cannot stop himself from routinely falling apart: from smacking himself in the head, hurling chairs at the wall, hitting anyone who happens to be within striking distance. (Yes, that includes the boy who ends up at the hospital needing stitches.)

What kind of mom drugs her kid? The mom who is tired of walking on eggshells, wondering who her child will hurt today. The mom who is tired of watching her baby suffer inside his own skin.

What mom does that, anyway? The kind who will do whatever it takes to help her child feel better, even if it means doing precisely the thing she vowed never to do.

The mom who, fighting back tears, dutifully takes the scrap of paper from the doctor with the round glasses. The mom who stares into her lap so as to avoid looking at the framed photos of smiling children on his desk.

What mom does that, anyway? The kind who will do whatever it takes to help her child feel better, even if it means doing precisely the thing she vowed never to do.

A version of this post originally appeared at YummyMummyClub.ca.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:


Close
Kids' Snacks That Boost Their Mental Health
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook