We live in a country inundated with advertising for the latest miracle pills. Lower your anxiety, lower your cholesterol, slow down your bathroom frequency- regulate this, improve that and so on. You would think no one can maintain their balance in life without some form of medication.
It’s a delicate rope we walk upon with our children. My wife and I have never been the kind of parents that want our children so numb and fatigued that they aren’t able to properly function through their daily lives. Yet we also know that without certain medications in their lives, the potential danger to themselves and others in their environment when they are having trouble could be life altering.
Luckily we have a psychiatrist who recommends a balance between medication that allows functioning along with natural remedies that can act as mood stabilizers. He is of the hope that eventually their past traumas will be processed through enough that they won’t remain on prescription medication for the rest of their lives.
I also have a cousin who is in the medical field and can provide insight into the latest medications, possible side effects and whether he thinks the medication will be effective for our children or make another recommendation based on his personal experience. To me there’s nothing wrong with doing your own research but also talking with doctors to get second and third opinions for your family.
Where does the meditation come in? We’ve found with both of our daughters that getting them to participate in deep breathing and relaxation exercises when they are feeling a little wound up does wonders to at least break them out of a heightened state of agitation and start the process of re-directing their anger in another more positive direction.
It could be taking breaths in and out and counting to 10, or mirroring between the parent and the child to both take you into a different mental state- but the goal is to open the mind, relax and stop the brain from racing out of control. We magnify our stressors so much that in order to reach a point of having a discussion about the problem, we have to quiet ourselves and get back into a rational state of being.
Our children are smart enough to know that there’s no miracle drug that will take away the pain of being brought up under less than ideal circumstances in their early lives. Even this summer we’ve had to learn tough lessons on attempting to escape from the stress of school and family life versus dealing with life head on.
I just want everyone to know that medication isn’t the be all and end all to deliver 100% change in a person’s life. You have to monitor your behavior and be willing to track how you are doing. It’s one component of an overall game plan to overhaul your life. Make sure you understand what you are taking and why you are taking it.
There are no wrong questions to ask with medications and children. The only poor question remains the one that goes unasked.