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Am I being a bad mom for not giving my son the medication...

Nancyg2017 profile image

Hi everyone! I am not the type to come online and share issues or ask for help but I am having a hard time making a decision here... My son, who is 7, was diagnosed with ADHD last year... After a lot of back and forth we decided to try the medication during school hours and it helped him so much... He was getting good colors and the daily calls from the office and bad notes home stopped and it was such a relief. He has been off medication during summer because I can handle him with out the medication and I personally don't like how he is on the meds but now that they are back in school I am having a hard time getting him back on them... Not because of him but because of me...

I wanted to see how he did the first month with out his medication in hope that he wouldn't need it anymore but we are back to square one.. the thing that brothers me is how he is asking for it... He keeps telling me that he can not do anything with out his medication and how he needs his medication in order to listen in class and that bothers me because I don't want him relying on this medication that much. I feel like he can do this with out the meds and him feeling like he can not makes me feel like he will forever feel the need to have the meds and I don't want that mentality for him..

Am I being a bad mom for not giving him the meds?

I know they help him, but I am scared that this is ruining him in the long wrong and I don't know what to do at this point... Do I just deal with his behavior from school or do I pop him back in the meds...

I am hoping to get more than a simple answer here... Why you think I should or I shouldn't?

Thank y'all so much..

23 Replies

First, talk to your son's pediatrician about your concerns and about what is known about long-term effects (if any) of whatever your son is on. If he's on something that is known to have long-term problems, is there an alternate medication to try instead that is better understood? You can also try finding a child psychiatrist, who is a specialist in medication options for kids, to advise on medication management, and/or for a second opinion.

In addition, ask yourself this-- would you withhold medication from your child if it were some other type of condition? Or from yourself, for some long-term condition (high cholesterol, high blood pressure)? If not, why is ADHD medication different in your mind?

Hi! I would give him the meds again. It does help him in school and without them he is probably having a tough time. It's something he cannot control on his own so taking the meds will help him feel better and concentrate better. I also had a very tough decision with my son starting meds but I am so happy we did this for him. Our Dr. said that some kids will "grow out" of this but only time will tell when they get older.

I feel your heart pour through your post. You are not a bad mother, you are an engaged and loving mother. You want to make the best decision for your son. I am sure you are amazing with him when he is not taking meds, however at age 7, a goal could be to foster independence - which is why I feel he is asking for the support he deserves.

I think it is important to honor his request for the medication. He wants to feel and perform his best. He wants to have the ability to be successful socially. Developmentally at age 7 - social inclusion is very important to the development of a child's self-image. It is also an age where academics are a foundation that is so critical for all of his academics to come. You would not want him to get behind. It is important for him to feel equipped to function without needing you to be with him to be successful. In my mind it is no different that if he deserved a wheel chair to get around - you would not keep the tool of a wheel chair away from him and still expect that he could be as successful as he was born to be.

I fought myself for 2 years not to give my daughter medication. We tried EVERYTHING and I considered home schooling. Her self-image and her lack of control (which is out of her control) was damaging her self-concept. So my truth is that I cannot afford to quit work and she cannot afford to be withheld from knowing her real self - the soul inside that is brilliant, loving, compassionate and the best friend any child could ever have. For my daughter, being off of meds keeps her from showing herself all that she is and all that she can be.

I sincerely wish you and your son all of the best in your journey!

This has truly help me see things differently... I didn't think about it in the ways y'all put them down on here... All I could think about was how I was drugging my child instead of helping him.. Thank yall so much! ❤

I'm so glad I read this. My 10 year old just got diagnosed with mild ADHD. I had a very bad experience with my sister at a younger age to middle school. We are 10 years apart. All I saw was the struggles my parents went thru and the bad behavior of my sister. These replies help to put it in a better perspective. I'm really against unnecessary meds, so this is a very scary process for me. Bu i want the best for my son, no matter what.

Mmagusin profile image
Mmagusin in reply to Nancyg2017

Try to ignore the propaganda out there that stigmatizes parents for medicating their children. This is coming from people who do not have ADHD children and are too lazy to research it. There's good science out there on this. It's not made up by big pharma just like autism is not made up. It's frustrating that mental health disorders are still not taken seriously by people.

Adhd is a chemical imbalance in the brain so the medicine helps balance the brain. Does he feel bad for being on medication or do they help him? Think of it this way; if someone has diabetes, should they stop taking medicine because they don't want to rely on medicine the rest of their lives? No, that would be absurd especially of the medicine was helping them. The medicine your son was on helped him stay and feel better. In time he may not need them, but right now in my opinion it's unfair to hold back something that is helping your son. People will adhd suffer just like any diagnoses and sometimes even physical.

So your concern about long-term effects is valid but the longitudinal studies that have been done are not showing any ill effects beyond a tendency to eat less and grow a little less in the first year of starting medicine. Keep reading and learning about it. My daughter cried when she had to go to school for two days without her meds. She's seven and she told me she can't think and she gets in trouble without it. Some of these kids will need the medicine until they 're 30, others can be done earlier. While it's not recommended by some pediatricians mine has approved med-free weekends. So talk with your child's doctors, maybe you can come up with a good comprimise. Good luck!

My son was diagnosed officially 9/2016 - We had many thoughts prior to this. But when for the diagnose mainly because he would go to bed at night staying he couldn't stop his brain. We had to do something as this bright boy was crying for help to sleep and function. We have resorted to the meds as diet modifications were not our answer. The meds help him to focus and allow him to function as "normally" as most children do. We are now trying to work with the anxiety aspects that are partnering with his condition. We are working with a therapist on coping skills but without the meds he would be unable to get the coping skills down. We are also doing Yoga and meditation options to assist (love Peace out on U-tube). I trust that someday he will have the tools to make the medication decision for himself, but feel it is my responsibility to allow him to learn and gain the skills needed to make that decision later.

I do not think you are bad mom, but did the medication help me. First, I would talk to the pediatrician about your concerns and know what you should do. I have condition I have asthma and if I do not take my medication I can't breath. When I get upset my asthma gets out of control.

The fact that your are on here asking for help makes it clear you are an awesome mom who wants whats best for your son! I think as parents of children with ADHD we all struggle with the decision of when to medicate! In our family we had many many factors it deciding against medication, at least for now! I think medication is a very valuable resource and an important plan in many children's treatment options. For us an our current situation medication didn't make sense. My son struggles with the classic hurdles and challenges of ADHD but currently he is succeeding in school, even though we have to go pick up assignments much more often than i'd like, he has a small social group of friends, and his teachers a wonderful and willing to work with us to help manage and problem solve the things he struggles with in school. We have also set up a therapist he works with once a week doing behavioral therapy. I think each family is different but i truly understand you not wanting your sons medication to be a need for him. The way i look at it is, while my son is young it's my job to make his world fit within his needs, but as he grows it is also my job to help him to adjust to a world that will not cater to his ADHD. It's a constant balancing act that we as parents are walking, and what works for one family and child would be tragic for another. Only you know what is best for your family and your child! I do view my sons Adhd as something beyond his control, but i must also teach him to manage his symptoms and prepare him for the world beyond our home.

Hello I am so glad that you ask this question this is a question that so many moms have when they're raising their children with ADHD. Should I put them on meds or not is always the question I have raised Son who was also diagnosed at age 7 with ADHD. I was listening to a lot of myths regarding medications such as the child can get addicted, it hurts the child or perhaps the child will be like a hunny in school.

it was so many things that cause me to make excuses for not putting him on medication. However once I started taking more care of myself and was able to strengthen my knowledge of ADHD and become bold and unafraid of finding out information regarding medication is, when my decision became clear.

My son was suffering and struggling so bad in school I got calls everyday I thought I was going to lose my job because teachers could not handle his aggressiveness an his hyperactivity and his impulses, they couldn't handle him at all. At that time I was working for New York City children services so I myself had to be careful if medication was a suggestion in my line of work I had to make sure that I explored that and took it into consideration.

In New York City we have to be careful of what teachers are saying to us regarding our children because if it comes to a point when medically the child really could benefit from medication and I don't put him on it that is considered medical neglect here. I'm so glad that I was put in that predicament because I decided to try my son on medication with something that was a light because my son was struggling to function in school and I begin to see that.

My son started out on Concerta and by the grace of God it was something that worked for him where he wouldn't struggle in school and he would be able to function at a normal rate. This is just a very sensitive topic and different for everyone cuz some people just don't believe in medication. However I will say to explore it if your son or daughter can use the medication during the day and perhaps not take it in the summer which Concerta allows you to do. I would suggest that you speak to your child psychiatrist because if she has a diagnosis she also or he also should be seeing a therapist because it helps.

Sometime they will talk to the therapist and tell them things that they wouldn't tell you because they are kind of afraid of your response well should I say reaction. Your child saying that he needs the medication because it helps him or he can focus with the medication is actually a plus, that's a place of being that I was trying to get my son to be so he's able to acknowledge the difference between his behaviour regularly and ADHD symptoms. so I commend your child and I think you should also. You know let him know that you're really proud of him to actually be able to admit that he needs medications and this is only because he can feel the difference.

don't get caught up in your child is going to get addicted to medication, medication is going to harm him, you know if you're a woman of God like me praying, you know over the medication and ask God to help give you discernment in this area. You want something that's definitely going to be conducive to what he needs. One day he could be like my son he may not need medication anymore.

I think that not giving it to him in the summer is a good thing and that's very good because that means he's on a medication that allows him to come off of it without any side effects.

I can assume you know that keeping him in activcities in the summer will help him be more engaged and you know activities during the summer that will actually help him use that energy that unique energy that he has in him. sports or whatever.

Your concerns are definitely normal and valid so many parents are undecided in reference to medicatipn. I always urge parents to please do a lot of research, it's time consuming but I guarantee you that you will get so much out of doing it this way. Like I say we have unique children. understand that if you noticed that there's a difference in Behavior when he is on it than opposed to him being off of it, you may want to explore this again because if he's struggling in school believe me it's a real struggle.

I have ADHD myself so I can look from the inside out , I know for a fact kind of what they're feeling and why he is indicating he needs the medication. you may be doing him a disservice by not giving it to him and what I suggest is to stick to the same medication that you were on when you notice he was doing well. Don't start something new put him on the medication that you knew that was helping him do well Try that for the next several months and revisit it. I know this is a hard decision I really know it is, however it is a decision unfortunately that's needs to be made really quickly because if you say he's in school struggling and you make make that decision of medication or no medication if you're not going to give him medication, what is the plan of treatment that's going to be put in place in order to help him function in school should you decide not to use medication.

Hi there, thank you so much for being so open and sharing your story. You mentioned that your son is no longer on medication. May I ask how you got to this pony and at what age?

I fully agree with you on the benefits of having a therapist work with our kids. They do open up more with them. My son loves logic , science and understanding he responds well to his therapist.

My boy is 8 and he is gifted with adhd and ocd. He’s a beautiful heart and had an amazing spirit. We just started him on ocd medication ( Prozac) as this is the most bothersome for him currently. When I first spoke with him about the Prozac, he actually took pause and said “wait... there is a medicine that can help this ocd and your just giving it to me now?” this was a defining moment for me. I’m praying deeply this will elevate his stress and I’m thinking an adhd med will be next. I am a little scared of combining but one step at a time. This has been a daunting decision for us, however having my son fully aware and involved in the process helps so much.

Thank you

You are not a bad mother, just a concerned one. I am a teacher and mother of a chikd with ADHD and emotional deregulation. He was diagnosed the summer he got out of kindergarten. I agree with the others that say to express your concerns with a pediatrician. Also have him see a child psychiatrist. They are really good about helping you with concerns. My son saw his psychiatrist twice a month to help him learn how to cope with his condition. However, my son still took meds. I was told when you take them off meds for the weekend or summer you are not helping your child's condition. Their bodies become conditioned to receiving it and taking a child off meds for the weekend makes it less effective. Trust me. We would not give him meds on the weekend and the result was horrible. He had total melt downs in public and we could not control him. He would end up hyperventilating. So we found out why , and it was because he needed consistencywith the meds.

As a teacher it is hard to teach and unmedicated chikd unless he/she has been given coping skilld THAT WORK and that the teacher can put in place. I always say to put yourself in a teacher's place. Can you imagine having an unmedicated student with no coping skills for ADHD in your class? The child causes the same type of disruptions, cocerns, etc seen at home but the difference is we (Teachers) also have 23-30 other kids that need to learn. All energy cannot be used to divert that child's hyperactivity. It isn't fair to the other students who deserve to learn and it is not fair to your child, who desires to learn. Medication csn be a positive thing. Just speak to the pediatrician and find a child psychiatrist. Also get your child a 504 plan at school.

Absolutely not, you are a concerned mother who wants the best for their child. I held off on meds for several years for my kid because I am not comfortable with them either. However, it became clear to me that my son cannot function without them. I hope sometime for him to be completely med free but in the meantime I realized it was what was best for him. The fact that your son has verbalized to you that he feels a need for them is amazing. My son is 9 and still says he doesn't understand why he needs them and doesn't notice a difference with or without them (the rest of the family does). You say that you think he can manage without them but has he done it successfully without them? In the same setting and not just during the summer? School versus home can be a completely different dynamic. My son didn't start displaying symptoms for ADHD and ASD until he was older and looking back I realize it was probably because the demands put on him were different. Even if you do start back on the meds keep working with him on the skills he needs to manage his ADHD so when the day comes when you both are ready to be off he has the tools he needs. If you haven't read it already Smart but Scattered is a good resource.

You son is mostly experiencing a lit if noise in his head. Go to on there a have a sample if what you child hears while trying to concentrate.

Nobody can understand understand what they are feeling and how these meds can change their young lives. We can't see the future or know what's ahead of them. Pray for better days because I don't think they can get worst.

In an earlier post I said that 21 days can change your life and the life if your child. Grandson asks to toss the bean bag around with me do he call out his spelling words. He does his homework in a matter of minutes not hours. My daughter thought I was wrong for getting him medicine. I didn't want to but I was talking to the Dr one morning by afternoon I was picking up meds. I told her she has the option if talking to the Dr this week and stopping it but she won't because she knows he needs it to get through school. And at home the meltdowns over homework are almost non existent. And he didn't talk 100nph. Now it's just normal conversations about toys.

We've seen the difference it can make. I'm not sure a 6 yo can tell you how he feels because he's been feeling one way for so long it may have seemed normal. Give him a few years and stopping the meds that made his head stop hurting he might be able to express hisself.

My son is now 23 and has been off and on ADHD meds since age 9. I can tell you from long experience and perspective that the majority of these ADHD boys will not be able to do college, high school, or even junior high without some sort of medication. You would not withhold medication for diabetes or hypertension, right? These medications may seem scary, but you must education yourself on ALL the types and find the right drug at the right dose for your son's sake. ADHD does not go away - you will want your son to "own" his disorder as he gets older and that means taking the right ADHD medication for the long run. I can tell you that after several years of trying college without his meds, my son has realized that he cannot study, get to class on time, organize notes, do projects, etc without his Vyvanse, so he is now a full-time college student taking ADHD meds daily! Please let me know if you have more questions!

Mninja profile image
Mninja in reply to seller

Just wanted to know that are these adhd meds are consistently effective in long term use?

My son's psychologist explained in depth how the medication would not be a "magic pill" or make him do anything different. She also explained in depth how he would need to continue to put in maximum effort to make good decisions and complete task as asked. Although my son is 15, I think its extremely important that children understand that medication is not the last resort for what they need to put forth effort in. Yes, it certainly helps when it works and many people have been able to move ahead successfully while using it but he needs to understand from a 7-year-old point of view all that's involved with continuing the medication. It sounds like he clearly sees a difference in his own performance when he takes the medication, which is a good sign that he notices. As a parent, we know the long-term effects of taking medication over a long period of time. So maybe talk to the psychiatrist about your concerns and see if there is something he can take that less invasive on the organs at such a young age. I wrote so many papers in college about the horrors of the BigPharma industry so I am extremely skeptical of giving children medicine until they are 20 and can make better-informed decisions about their bodies. In the end, we could be holding our children back with such strong beliefs and values, but in the end, a decision needs to be made, so gather all your pro's and con's and gain some professional knowledge with the doctors and see where you can pivot or stay the course.

You got this mom!!


Thanks for speaking up to the group about the conflict inside of you.

I just read a great article that said sometimes it is even helpful when the parents of children with ADHD get thearpy. Do be afraid if you need someone to talk to to seek help in discussing your disappointment in his need to be on medication.

But as others have posted, your child needs the medication and the doctors are recommending he take it and he is asking for it. Long term study show when NOT medicated worse things happen.

Best of luck with your struggle, in the end we are all great moms that want the best for our kids.

Take care

My 34 year old daughter was on ADHD medication all through grade school and high school. She struggled some in her late teens but now has a master's degree and makes more money than me. Obviously the medication didn't affect her brain permanently

Aniusia profile image
Aniusia in reply to anirush

Anrush, it it just what I wanted to read today !!!! Thank you!

I think it’s awesome he told you how he feels and he sees a difference in himself. Getting the right medication and the right dose, seeing a psychiatrist regularly is a blessing, I wish someone knew what was wrong with me when I was younger. Talk to a psychiatrist who can help you understand ADHD and the medication. Unless he has a life where his ADHD doesn’t affect the quality of His life then don’t medicate. But in this world most likely everything we especially as a an adult adhd affects my life. Him taking medication is just making his brain function the was “normal “ brains function. I say listen to your son, support him and give him what he needs so he can strive in life 🙂

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