>I have an ongoing feud with one of my 3rd graders. Every morning I trick, cajole, threaten and force him to take his medicine. Every morning he tricks, squirms, bargains, and gags his way out of this same medicine.
I think I’ve finally gotten this under control but not without the following scenarios (most of which have occurred more than once):
1. Try to make him swallow the capsule. Have him place capsule on back of tongue and drink water. Standard form of medication administration. Totally useless as it involves approximately 30min of attempts, and results in water on floor, back of sink, trash can and student. Also wasted: at least one extra dose of medicine that has been mostly dissolved and spit all over floor, trash, and student.
Variation: bring classroom teacher in to attempt to “scare” student straight. Results: very similar but makes teacher understand that I’m not “doing it wrong”.
Verdict: failed, but preferable to first scenario.
Eventually it became crystal clear that I was not going to get him to swallow the stupid medicine. Some people are unable to swallow pills their entire life. To save myself the frustration, I’ve put Gagsy in this category. That makes it acceptable for me to cave and allow him the chocolate milk without considering it a reward for bad behavior. 🙂
2. Empty capsule into chocolate milk brought by student.
Result: he spends almost 10 minutes a morning pinching his nose, dramatically taking very small sips of the chocolate milk and notifying me of every single ball (there’s an incredibly small volume of little teeny beads- think of the white ones on those yummy mint candies from Hillshire farms) that gets “stuck in his throat” or accidentally chewed.
Unintended Variation: If someone else is in the room, fuggeddaboudit. He spends more time performing than sipping. I’ve tried bribes and threats to make this process faster, with absolutely no luck. I consider it “lucky” if he doesn’t gag and spit onto my office floor.
The Test: The morning after a particularly trying day, I decided to prove to him that the chocolate milk tasted fine with medicine in it. While he was watching, I poured some milk in the cup, and pretended to sprinkle his medicine in. I then swirled it around and handed it over. He took a sip, and stood there for awhile with his mouth full and his head down. I was sweating it a little because it would blow up in my face if he could actually tell it wasn’t medicated. But sure enough, he looks up (to make sure I’m watching), gags a little, then forces it down.
Me: [jumping up and down] “Ah ha! I got you. I know for sure that you’re faking when you pretend that it’s so gross. There isn’t even any medicine in there. You can’t taste when it IS in there because then you would know when it was missing. Now you HAVE to take it fast! HA! HAHAHA!!”
Gagsy: [pauses for a moment, considering my outburst.] Says, “That was a pretty good trick.”
Of course, my gloating lasted about 5 more seconds before he resumed his gagging/spitting/sipping/whining routine.