Power Struggles With Your Tween

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Dear “And You Will Have Kids”:

My daughter is 8 and I have a difficult time getting her to take medicine.  Up until a few months ago, I never had any issues with her.

 Any suggestions?  She takes allergy medicine every day and I am so tired of the “medicine battles”.

Discouraged Mom


Dear Discouraged Mom:

Ah, the “tween” years!  Your child’s sudden issues with medicine could be due to many things, including a power struggle.  Read on for more information.

Sometimes, children don’t like taking their medicine because they have a difficult time swallowing pills.   If your child has a difficult time swallowing pills, you should see if their is a physical reason why your child can’t swallow.  For example, my one child had a difficult time swallowing pills and I mentioned it to the doctor during a routine visit one day.  It turned out that my child had enlarged tonsils.

 When children reach the tween years, your doctor may make the switch from liquid medication to pills.  Perhaps this is the issue with your child!  I’ve found that some children simply prefer liquid medication to pills and vice versa.  If your child simply prefers liquid medication,  make sure to ask your child’s doctor if your child’s prescription is available in liquid form. 

Another clever “trick”: ask if it’s possible to have a medicine which needs to be taken only once a day.  If your child dislikes taking medicine and the doctor prescribes medication which needs to be taken three times a day, it can make life very difficult!

Probably the best way to begin to solve the medicine issue is to talk with your child.  At her age, she should be able to tell you why she doesn’t like taking medicine.  Is there a valid reason like she is having trouble swallowing pills, or is it just that she doesn’t want to take medicine?

You should also talk to her about the importance of her medicine and tell her why the doctor has prescribed her medication.  Ask her if she feels better or worse after taking her medication.  Perhaps her medicine makes her feel tired or lethargic. If that is the case, you can ask about another medication option.

Sometimes, your child may have no reason for not wanting to take her medication.  As much as possible, try to avoid turning the issue into a power struggle, which can happen when you have a “tween”.  Explain to your child that you are simply obeying doctor’s orders!

If  you continue to have issues with your child, make an appointment with your child’s doctor to discuss your options.  Good luck!



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