Medicine or Movement: The Child Athlete

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"Perhaps he needs medication." Have you or a friend been told that about your active, sometimes anxious child? Each week, we interview mothers of professional or collegiate athletes. In last week's call, Gayle Jackson, the mother of DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver) recounted her experience with her smart and talented son. As she described the classroom situation, my co-host Deborah Johnson chimed in with an almost identical story. [Listen to the Blog Talk Radio session.]

The accounts resonated with me as two women in the Sideline Pass community recently had to deal with similar questions from their respective school administrations. The children are performing at or above grade level. But at some point during the school day, the boys become anxious or their behaviors are labeled "aggressive." Unfortunately, the labels follow them through the school. But with the benefit of hindsight, the two Pro Moms discussed how sports provided the necessary outlet for their busy boys and both went on to great schools, Cal Berkeley and Ohio State University.

The tips they shared can be summed up quickly:

  • Be your child's advocate.
  • Children are active - and some are more active than others. That's okay.
  • Look for appropriate outlets and exhaust options before starting any medical regiment.
  • Trust your gut!

Neither Gayle nor Deb believed that their sons were perfect. But both knew that their sons were smart, capable and definitely shouldn't be stifled or held back. Certainly there are cases when medication is necessary. However if you know that your child can succeed without them, then exhaust all options. Who knows where they could land.

Mia M. Jackson •  Sideline Pass Up close and sporty!


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