I have been concerned about a particular behavior from my 4-year-old and am hoping it is just unnecessary worry.
We are not by any means big on giving our children over-the-counter medication. We use antibiotics when they are necessary and only provide Tylenol when fevers are high. Lately, we have noticed that when our 6-year-old is sick and receives medicine, our 4-year-old will immediately claim to be sick and want the same medication, even if he feels fine. As expected, we decline that request. When he actually does have a fever and receives Tylenol, he consistently spends the next several hours requesting the medicine again. I can't help but feel like this is an indication of an addictive personality.
Is there anything that can done to help this situation, or is this simply a child who likes the taste of Tylenol? Does anyone recall their children exhibiting this trait and seeing it develop into something more serious?
Some say that it is simply an association with being sick. This might be true if we gave him medication every time he is sick, but we do not. It might also be true if the correlated special behavior was something he wants. Instead, we do not allow TV when a child is home from school so it does not become a reason to be sick. Instead, the pattern I see is he feels better after taking medication and then tends to want it more (as any normal person would). My concern is because he keeps wanting it after the fever has dropped, as though he correlates it with the reason he feels better overall. Hope that clears it up.