Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Benadryl Bad Parenting

There is certainly no shortage of bad parenting stories these days like this one which recounts the pathetic news of an entire family kicked of a JetBlue flight because the parents were unable to control their children. However, the more disturbing news comes from stories of parents who claim to have no trouble traveling with their children thanks to the shocking, negligent, pathetic, and potentially criminal parenting trick known as the "Benadryl Solution."

Parents are doping their kids with antihistamines to put them to sleep.

Despite my outrage, many people are neither surprised nor bothered by this. For, in a day and age when parents and pediatricians are putting children as young as three years old on medication for hyperactivity, a little benadryl at the airport could seem positively sane. But it's not. And I don't care if your pediatrician recommended it and said it would be OK. And I don't care if Grandpa talks about how they used to put a little bourbon in the baby bottle or rubbed some brandy on the baby's gums. It's not OK. As Helen, an advanced practice nurse specializing in maternal addiction in Philadelphia, sees it, “I think putting a chemical into your child’s brain in lieu of substituting appropriate comforting parenting behaviors is shameful.”
Benadryl is a drug which is manufactured and intended to treat cold and allergy symptoms. It's not intended as a sleep aid or parenting tool, and the box clearly states the product is not to be used for any purpose other than the one for which it was manufactured. It's not enough to simply argue that a little bit won't hurt the child. For one, we don't know that. Stories of such poisoning and abuse are rare but not unheard of. Secondly, the more significant issue is the substitution of dope for adult parenting skills.

My children are ages seven and ten, and my wife and I have always been amazed by people who come up to us while we are traveling - or even out to eat - and note incredulously, "We didn't even realize young children were on this plane" or "in this restaurant." It's as if people are truly shocked that children can behave in public. Barring a true medical condition of hysteria or hyperactivity - for which parents should have a prescription - children should never be doped because a parent can't handle taking them out in public.

Benadryl parenting is no parenting at all. Anyone who has made this decision has clearly revealed an inability to be an adult. And if you're already doing this, please don't have any more children.

1 comment:

parentingclubs said...

Benadryl parenting is no parenting at all. Anyone who has fabricated this accommodation has acutely appear an disability to be an adult. And if you're already accomplishing this, amuse don't accept any added children