There are three ways to use the new PKR:

  1. Browse and click on color-coded boxes that appear as if by magic as you scroll down.
  2. Click on a category for all the ParenTips under that particular category.
  3. Go to the Site Map (link) for an:
    • a) alphabetical list of all ParenTips.
    • b) A list of all 8 categories with every ParenTip in that category listed alphabetically.

Or mix and match! Have fun as you get the information you need!

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Parents often ask me whether or not they should put their child on prescription medication for a behavior or emotional problem. The typical scenario is a child who is having difficulty at school or at home. The parents have asked for help from the child’s doctor who either prescribes medication or refers the child to a therapist who prescribes medication.

Because the child is not my patient I tell the parents I cannot give specific or “prescription” advice but I do offer some “generic” suggestions.

First of all get a DIAGNOSIS. It is unwise to treat a child with any medication unless there is a diagnosis.

Second, when in doubt about any treatment or surgery, GET A SECOND OPINION. Have the child seen by another pediatrician or child psychiatrist.

Third, dear parents DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF. The first thing parents do when confronted with troubling child behavior is to think that their bad parenting must have caused it. Parents don’t cause ADHD or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) or disruptive conduct disorders. The troubling behaviors are likely to be something your child was born with and, although you may learn better ways of handling and preventing these beahviors it may not be in your power to make them go away.

Finally I give parents a list of questions to ask about ANY medication, especially ones you have reservations about:

1) Why is this being prescribed?

2) Is it safe? Safe in pediatric patients?

3) What can we expect this medicine to do and how soon?

4) What are the chances it will work?

5) What are the side effects?

6) Does it have any effect on growth?

7) Will it affect my child’s ability to study or do school work?

8) Are there possible adverse interactions with other medications the child is on or may have to take like cough syrups?

9) How long would the child need to be on this drug?

10) Are there other medications that could be used? Do we know more about these other drugs?

11) Would you use this on your own child?