Should I Medicate? | Teaching Self-Government

Should I Medicate?


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"Help! I’ve been browsing your website for a couple of days. Trying to find some answers- If I had the $ I’d be sending for the cd’s. But it’s not in the budget right now. I’m totally at my wits end with my 6 yr old.

I don’t know what else to do. He is ADHD- We’ve had him in with a counselor, and I have an appointment to talk about meds this afternoon. I don’t want to do meds for adhd, but I have to try something, because everything I’ve tried isn’t working. He’s only 6! I really don’t want to do meds, but I don’t know what else to try. (He’s on medicaid- adopted through the foster care system- so they will cover cost of meds) He’s so impulsive, and defiant. Help! How do I get started with Self Government?"

 I have had my share of foster children on meds.  Luckily, we were able to get them off the meds and teach them how to govern their own behaviors. 

What are your son's behaviors? 

There are two sides to the medication argument.  I generally prefer not to medicate unless I am sure that the child has a real chemical disease that requires meds.  Being a six year old that has been in the foster system, could make someone behave ADHD without actually being chemically challenged.  (Of course I am speaking of what my experience has taught me.  It's hard to give an exact opinion when I haven't seen your son, or witnessed how he responds to teaching self government.)

Here's the short answer to how to start teaching self government without having the actual classes or CDs. 

Decide what you want your family to look like when the children are all grown up.  What do you want your family gatherings to feel like?

Start having regular family meetings and couples meetings.

With your spouse, decide upon consequences for negative and positive behaviors.

Teach your son the Four Basic Skills.

Praise every time he does anything good.  Then he will repeat the behaviors.

To correct negative behaviors, use the steps listed at the link on the blog.  At the very least calmly describe what he did wrong and why it was wrong.  Then explain what he should have done, what consequence he earned, and then practice the correct skill together. 

If you let me know more of your son's behaviors, I can probably suggest more.  Ultimately though, you have the inspiration for your child.  Whatever you feel is best, is probably best.



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