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One of the most common questions I get is, “Should I put my child on medication?”

My response is always try counseling first.  A qualified counselor can teach your child Anxiety Management Tools that can be a great help for many years to come.  If you’ve already tried that and there are still issues, I recommend the 2 out of 3 rule.  The 2 out of 3 rule means that if your child is suffering in 2 out of the 3 main areas of  life, then it is time to look at medication.

The 3 main areas are:

1.  School.  This includes academics and behavior.  If your child is unable to learn, focus or cooperate in class then you can count school as an area of weakness.

2.  Home.  The home environment is often the most difficult for kids for these reasons:  1.  There is less structure at home than there is at school.  2.  Parents are safer than teachers and peers (Kids misbehave at home because there’s less to lose).  3.  Siblings are often triggers.

3.  Social.  If your child is unable to keep friends, too anxious to attend social functions or behaves too badly to go on play dates or sleepovers then your child qualifies for struggling in the social area.

After you’ve determined if your child fits the 2 out of 3 rule, talk to your pediatrician or a psychiatrist to determine what will work best for your child.  While medication shouldn’t be the first line of defense, it can greatly help kids get on the right track.

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