Vacations are great. Not only do they force you to slow down, but in doing so, you observe and feel things you might not otherwise with the hustle and bustle of real life.
One thing that has surfaced came from my little Stink the other day. I told him something he couldn’t do (after he and his sister’s Lord of the Flies excess experience at the beach house) and he started to cry.
I hugged him, explained why he couldn’t do it, then went on to pack for our mountain getaway. (Surf and Turf in one week… I know, life is tough… stay focused.)
Within moments a very sullen boy came into the room. I was prepared to hear a dissertation on why an extra six hour, 2 minutes and 37 seconds of electronics are not only okay but good for him, but instead he just sputtered, “Mama, I think 3 pills are too much for me.” He was fighting tears.
I sat down on his Scooby Doo bed and took him in my arms.
“Why do you say that?” I asked.
“Because I keep getting upset,” he said.
My kid is a con-artist. He can say anything to get his way, but I could tell this time was different. I dug deeper.
“You mean, because you can’t have extra treats like at the beach house or more computer time?” I offered.
“No. I mean… I just feel more sad… It’s like I have these mini cries… a lot… over little things.”
I was floored. I wasn’t surprised at his feelings – just yesterday my husband remarked that Stink seemed a bit too muted. A friend, a few weeks back, remarked that he seemed super mellow. Topanga T, during our Saturday get together, commented that he seemed a bit too robotic.
And yet, check out my previous post and video – he seems okay! I figured the pills just needed a few weeks to titrate.
But after talking to Stink a few days ago, my mama bear instinct kicked in. 3 pills really are too much for this kid. We need to back it back down to 2. Minimal tics are great. It’s been awesome to feed him crud and know he’s not going to spin like a tilt-a-wheel, and his focus is awesome, but at what cost? So we can then put him on antidepressants to combat the downer effect? This makes no sense.
We are going to back it down to 2, but first we need to talk to Dr. McCracken on Monday after our trip.
“Stink, we will cut back for sure. But we can’t do it before UCLA. Do you think you’ll be able to manage your mini-cries until then?”
He looked up, teary, and then smiled. “I think some extra computer time could really help.”
“Fine,” I said. “A little bit only.”
Take away for moms and dads thinking about starting meds for tics or focus: If you can hold out until your kid is at the age where they really know their bodies and can speak about the effects, it’s super helpful. Sure, a few years of hyper activity or trying out diet and supplement techniques are a pain (but yes, they really help in managing symptoms) but it’s a great baseline. If you start meds at 4, when they are 9, how will you know what their true personalities are?
* Butt coverage: Some folk absolutely need meds due to extreme ADHD or extreme tics. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. It’s simply my theory for parents of kids who have medium to mild tics/focus/hyperactivity. And trust me: nothing helps build a parents’ tool box of character, patience, grace and forgiveness than learning to accept and nurture a child who isn’t a perfect cookie cutter kid.
Until next time, hug that ticker of yours today!
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