Sounds harsh but what’s a good technique on keeping your son pinned down

Abby K. asks from Austin, TX
9 answers

He refuses his medicine and he’s 5 and I’m with him by myself any suggestions?

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9 Answers


zulu P.

answers from Beverly Hills on

I honestly never had a problem giving medicine to any of my 5 kids ranging in age 19-38. I am referring to when they were children of course. When they were really small and they would have liquid antibiotics for example. I would use a medicine syringe. I would give them a choice of drink to sip in between the medicine. Some times they would take a couple of CC's, a drink, a couple more, a drink, and so on. I never said "Do you want to take your medicine". Rather, "How are we going to take your medicine?" With juice? With milk? With applesauce? With pudding? With a rice crispy treats? Point being, It isn't their option taking the medicine. But they do have the option on what they are taking it with. Some pharmacies can flavor the liquids. A couple of times I took the kids inside so they could choose their flavor. Pills were another story😁. I did have a couple of kids who couldn't swallow pills. So I asked the doctor or pharmacist if they had the medicine in a liquid. If there wasn't a liquid available, then I would tell my kid to take a decent size sip of water or soda or juice and throw the pill in their mouth, tilt their head back and swallow it all down. If the pill was still in their mouth. I would quickly tell them to take another drink and swallow. It always worked. They still take their medicine this way. And they have told me that they have told adult friends who always had trouble taking medicine in pill form to do this and it works for them. Just try not to make a big deal about it or fight with them. Try to remain calm. If worse comes to worse, buy two medicine syringes. Fill one with your child's medicine and another one with juice for yourself. And show them what to do. They sqirt a little medicine in their mouth while you squirt some juice in yours. Or hell, put juice in one for them and one with medicine. Either alternative. Or trick them by squirting the juice first then sqirt the medicine in when they aren't expecting it😂. But try the other methods first and see if you have any success. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

fanged bunny

answers from Kew Gardens on

Can you have him administer it to himself? Sometimes it can help

1 mom found this helpful

Suz t.

answers from Sharpsburg on

shackles. handcuffs. straitjacket. large brawny security personnel.

or you could discuss it with him, inform him that life will come to a screeching halt until he takes his medicine, and proceed from a place of mutual understanding.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Red River on

I would talk to him a lot about why he HAS to take his medicine and why he needs it...give him the specifics. Then when he wants to do something (play outside with friend, use the ipad, play his computer game, watch his movie, eat ice cream) I would say yes, you may but only after you take your medicine. Pinning him down won't work...he just will struggle, spit it out, and hate the medicine even more. Plus it will make him resistant to taking future medicine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

While I can agree with some comments and disagree with others already given, the bottom line is he needs medicine. IN my house, it is also--you are taking this medication. Period. My youngest is 6. He gets medication intravenously 2 times a week. When we first started, he gave us a very hard time. Even nurse assisting, it was very difficult. Cajoling, rewarding do not always work. having him watch a video also did not work more than once. There were times we wrapped him in a blanket with just his arm out, with one of my legs over his just to hold him still. It has not taught him that taking his meds is a horrible experience. Now my son still gets anxious but we have gotten him to do deep breathing exercises when he gets his meds. You have to deal with what you have. And it depends on the way you give the medication.

1 mom found this helpful

Diane B.

answers from Westborough on

This exact question was just asked in the last few weeks, and if you search "giving child medicine" you will find many more. Most of these have to do with infants and toddlers, but you'll find plenty (like the recent one) that deal with older kids.

You can't get into a wrestling match with a child. Eventually, he will be too big for you. Yes, you can hold down an infant to change a diaper, but a 5 year old needs other techniques. And, you will face things like this when he is 10. And 13. And 17, wanting the car keys.

You don't strong-arm a child or a teen. You simply wait until they want something. Which is about 10 minutes. They want screen time, snacks, a play date, a ride, etc. If you have to get out the door to go to school and he needs the medicine first, for example, you tell him you'll wait until he's ready. You'll also remind him that late arrivals don't go directly to class, but hey go to the principal's office to report in (school rule, not yours). So when he misses the bus and you have to drive him (which will be when you are good and ready - because nothing horrible happens if a 5 or 9 or 11 year old misses an hour of school), then he will go to the office and get to explain to the principal why he doesn't think school is important and why he thought it makes more sense to have a tantrum over medicine, why he thought 5 seconds of being a big kid about health was less important than seeing friends, having fun and learning stuff. You have to say this with no judgment in your voice, just total calm and businesslike tone. The idea is, this is unfortunate for him, rather than a big problem you're going to get agitated about. He's getting off on the dispute and the drama, so you have to take that out of it.

Make this about his choices and not your demands. If he chooses not to watch TV or play on the computer, not to see a friend, not to ride his bike, not to go to recess but to have to stay inside to make up the work he missed, not to do anything but sit on his bed until he's ready, fine. His choice. But those privileges are for big boys who are responsible, not for kids who aren't yet ready. If he won't take care of his own body, then he's not old enough to be trusted with a remote, a computer, a mouse, a bicycle in traffic, or anything else. Pick the thing most "valuable" to him now. Don't list all the things he's not going to do. Just one. If he gives up on that one thing and asks for something else, your answer is still "No, that's for big kids."

This may make you late for work one day or delay you in other things, but then that's the consequence for him. There was no time to pack dessert in his lunch or pick up snacks at the supermarket because you had to spend time waiting for him to take medicine. Do not scramble to make up the time you lost waiting for him - just eliminate something that mattered to him. See how it works? You just have to be willing to make the first step.

This technique will work well into high school. The sooner you master it, the easier it will be for all.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Monica on

Don't pin him down.
Can you put it in something like a small amount of juice or punch? Then he could
down it.
Don't remind him before school that he will come home to take it. That's setting him up for a worrisome day. That's like me tell you "don't forget about your root canal coming up" or "don't forget taxes are coming up soon & you owe this year".
Also, try positive reinforcement, "if you take your medicine without a problem, I will give you a small treat". It can be tiny.
I disagree with Ladybug, he's 5 and he needs to take this medicine. Don't punish him for the necessity of the medicine which is out of his control and his age which is very young. Think smarter and out of the box.
Cajole, entice. Try to make it more of a positive experience. Wake him up early?
That's crazy. He needs his sleep. I wouldn't wake an adult or teen up early as a punishment. Work "with" not "against" what you have to work with. Hang in there, you will find a good way.

2 moms found this helpful

Margie G.

answers from Portland on

I wouldn't get into that. He'll associate it with something to hate/bad/struggle.

Do you have a syringe? If you have to resort to that, that's better than pinning down. We used those when preschool age for nasty tasting stuff, by 5 they could handle medicine in little cups. Non negotiable as Ladybug says.

Just make it part of routine. You don't get this until have medicine. No TV, No electronic .. whatever until have medicine.

Really nasty tasting stuff (prescribed) they can sometimes flavor if you ask.

3 moms found this helpful

LadyBug C.

answers from Delaplane on

In my house, medicine was not negotiable. If he has to have it before school, get him up early and make him sit in a chair until he takes it. No breakfast, no TV, no games, no juice, no nothing until he takes it. The first time will be long. But as soon as he figures out you’re not giving in, he will simply bend to your will and do what he needs to do. If he has to take it after school, same deal. No food, no snacks, no dinner, no activities until he takes it. If he misses his favorite activity because he didn’t take his medicine, so be it. That’s a consequence of his bad behavior.

Prepare him the night before. Remind him that in the morning, he needs to take his medicine. That you will get him up early and he will take it. If he refuses, he will sit in time out until he does. If he has to take it after school, remind him when he gets on the bus.

Be the mom. You can do this.
If you cave to other things in his life, he will try to make you cave now. You need to be absolutely consistent in all areas of his life. No means no. Medicine goes down first thing.

2 moms found this helpful
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