Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How I got my kid to voluntarily take his yucky medicine

So we're on day 3 of the flu virus, meaning dose 5 of the Tamiflu for my Pookie.  This little guy normally takes medicine like a champ (for a 2-year-old especially), but apparently the Tamiflu is not quite as tasty as that pink bubble-gum amoxicillin or the grape-flavored tylenol he's had in the past.  The poor guy barely had enough strength in him the past two days to pry his little butt off the couch, but when it came time to take his Tamiflu, he kicked and screamed and cried with every ounce of strength he had.  It was so bad that my husband and I had no choice but to hold his arms down while one of us squeezed the little plastic syringe into his mouth, while he screamed and attempted to spit it out.

This is one of the worst feelings as a parent, because you're only trying to help them get better, but they see it as you turning on them by forcing this disgusting liquid into their mouths, when they have clearly expressed their distaste for it.  And at 2 years, you can explain to them all you want, that you're only trying to help, but chances are they don't care what it is you have to say about it, because they don't like it.  Period.

Today being day 3, my little guy is feeling ten times better!  His fever seems to be gone, he's playing with his toys and even shook his little tush to the potty dance song when the pull-ups commercial came on television (I still have the little jingle stuck in my head... Do the (clap, clap) potty dance!)  You know you're guilty of it too.  But just because he's feeling better, doesn't mean we get to discontinue the Tamiflu doses.  So today I got creative and found a way to get him to take it.  And to my surprise, it worked like a charm.  He voluntarily took it!  So here's my secret:

I don't normally allow him to drink sodas, but since he was sick, we got some ginger ale for him the other day.  I used the ginger ale as a reward, and not to mention a chaser to get the yucky taste out of his mouth afterward.  But this wasn't what actually got him to take his medicine.  I decided, rather than to pretend it tastes good and tell him to be a big boy, why not show him that I totally understand why he doesn't want to take a swig of this nasty crap.  I put the syringe to the tip of my tongue (YIKES, that stuff is nasty), and made a silly, disgusted face and pretended to gag.  Then I immediately grabbed the cup of ginger ale, sipped it and made a nice relieved sound.  "Ahhhh, much better".  I did this a few times, until he was laughing at me and was eager to show me his silly face.  "My turn", he told me as he grabbed for the syringe.  He opened his mouth and I squirt the 3mL of yuckiness into his mouth.  I quickly grabbed the ginger ale for him to chase the taste away, but he was more interested in making his funny face first, dealing with the aftertaste like a champ.  I don't even think I could have done that, personally.

So next time you're trying to convince your little one to take his medicine, you may want to give this method a try.  Do you have another creative technique that you use to get your little one to take his medicine?  I'd love to hear some ideas from you parents out there.  Or if you decide to give this one a try, let me know how it works out for you.


1 comment:

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