Munchausen on the increase?

  1. It is my observation that many parents strongly advocate for their children to the point of excluding the rights of the rest of the students. I would love to hear from experienced school nurses if this has always been or is this relatively new? We just had a parent demand the school go peanut free despite talking to the student's allergist stating we did not have to do that. Had another demand her child needs special consideration for PE on a week by week basis dependent on the child's decision, a student who plays basketball and softball after school. A student who has refused PE in school and goes to her after school sports? Parents are condoning this. I am sure my coworkers here have more stories than this, as I only have 90 families. AN administrators, please don't put this on FB. Thanks
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  2. 53 Comments

  3. by   Flare
    Yes! I had a student with a laundry list of ailments per the parent. Parent stated the student was getting treated for cancer too. I told the parent that I NEEDED medical documentation. The documentation I got was incredibly limited, mostly just excusal notices for minor injuries - none of it ever said anything about cancer.

    Now - sort of related, i've got a student that has a concussion. The student has "gotten worse" after improving after a week. He is fine one minute in class, terrible in the classes he finds challenging. Stumbles in front of the teachers that challenge him, but walks fine with everyone else. He has been enjoying his rest periods in my office, but leaves after a few minutes when he realizes that I am not going to spend my time that he's here chatting with him and i'm going to work / attend to other students. (walking fine, btw) But according to mom, it's all gloom and doom.
  4. by   SchoolNurseTXstyle
    It is silly, the requests just continue to grow in absurdity. How can a school guarantee a peanut free facility?? Even if you made this a policy, other than checking every kid and every adult for contraband every day, how could you enforce??? And truthfully, aren't we all (especially parents) supposed to be preparing students for the real world?

    I hope these parents are prepared to have these kids living in their basement way into adulthood because I cannot see them becoming productive members in society.
  5. by   BeckyESRN
    I have one with a doctor's order for a snack "whenever the child feels it is necessary" because "he gets very hungry". Okay whatever, but do you think the parent sent in nutritional snacks? Nope, not a chance! Everything send in has zero protein or fiber and more than 18 grams of sugar! The kid already can't sit still!
  6. by   OldDude
    It is getting worse. I think the problem, in part, is the slow evolution of relinquishing parents from responsibility and allowing them to be unaccountable for most everything they say or do, or not do (not just schools but in general). They can lie to you, drop "F" bombs in the lobby, scream at the teachers, park where they want to, accuse staff of everything under the sun, yadda yadda...and are welcomed to the campus the very next day.

    It makes me sad and it makes me tired.
  7. by   Apples&Oranges
    Did I miss something? What does this child/parent snowflake phenomenon have to do with Munchausen Syndrome? Self directed or by proxy?
  8. by   OldDude
    Quote from Apples&Oranges
    Did I miss something? What does this child/parent snowflake phenomenon have to do with Munchausen Syndrome? Self directed or by proxy?
    It's not behavior straight from the definition but many variants of that behavior we see...similar to attention seeking via the children.
  9. by   NurseBeans
    YES! I have not been in this long enough to have seen much, but I do have quite a few children with a long list of diagnoses (and no documentation) and accommodations demanded. I have two sisters currently who both have stated seizure disorders, supposedly on keppra, but mom refuses to provide documentation, action plan, or diastat. Her "action plan"? If a seizure starts, call mom, she'll decide if you need to call 911. These same girls have a looooooong list of diagnoses with no documentation and mom keeps forgetting the doctor's name (so I can't call). They are serious diagnoses, too. Bipolar disorder, juvenile RA, etc. There are at least two families like this in my school.

    I don't get it. It's like accommodations=attention and special treatment for their child, but to what end?
  10. by   Creamsoda
    Ive been getting a bit burned out of hospital nursing, but I could not handle this. Ill go back to my hospital...our society is just going to the wolves.
  11. by   catsmeow1972
    My opinion for what it's worth is that it's a societal thing. Every single bit of aberrant behavior has a pathological diagnosis now. (Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Someone please tell me if this is real or excusing bad behavior) In some cases this can be good because it permits access to services that can help that kid function better. In other cases it permits parents to excuse bad behavior or in the more (and sadly devious ones) the avenue to acquiring SSI checks for the kids. I know i sound jaded but it's that kind of behavior that makes it so difficult for the kids who really need services to get them.
  12. by   ldrnicuguy
    Quote from OldDude
    It is getting worse. I think the problem, in part, is the slow evolution of relinquishing parents from responsibility and allowing them to be unaccountable for most everything they say or do, or not do (not just schools but in general). They can lie to you, drop "F" bombs in the lobby, scream at the teachers, park where they want to, accuse staff of everything under the sun, yadda yadda...and are welcomed to the campus the very next day.

    It makes me sad and it makes me tired.
    I agree with you. The thought being that "if my kid has a diagnosis, then it's not my fault as a parent" AND you now have to get me resources. I don't even want to broach the inappropriate amount of extremely early labeling that occurs and disproportionately impacts one gender over another.

    Quote from catsmeow1972
    My opinion for what it's worth is that it's a societal thing. Every single bit of aberrant behavior has a pathological diagnosis now. (Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Someone please tell me if this is real or excusing bad behavior) In some cases this can be good because it permits access to services that can help that kid function better. In other cases it permits parents to excuse bad behavior or in the more (and sadly devious ones) the avenue to acquiring SSI checks for the kids. I know i sound jaded but it's that kind of behavior that makes it so difficult for the kids who really need services to get them.
    Labels = resources! Also, if the child has a diagnosis, the parents have an excuse.

    Disclaimer: Before I get lambasted...my sarcasm is derived directly from dealing with said stereotype parents and is not meant to convey in any way that all parents are like this.
  13. by   FolksBtrippin
    I think it stems from this totally false idea we hold culturally, that if you do everything right as a parent, your kid will be perfect, or at least very well behaved. This causes parents to look for excuses instead of solutions.

    Those of us that have more than 1 or 2 kids know that some kids are naturally obedient and some kids are born to be wild. What we need to look at, is our response to that. What response works in helping a child grow? The answer is not always clear. And what works for one kid won't necessarily work for another. Sometimes parents are mismatched in temperament or personality to their children, and those relationships will be strained.

    It really does take a village. We need to let other people correct our children and hold them accountable. We need to trust each other on a basic level in order to do that. We need to not bash each other when things go wrong. It happens both ways. A kid acts up in school; the parents bash the faculty and the faculty bashes the parents. In any way we can, we need to aim for a spirit of working together for the child's well being.

    And let's not be so quick to pathologise children's behavior. When I was a kid we sang this terrible version of "Deck the halls". It was rude and obnoxious and it went like this "Deck the halls with gasoline, falala-la-la, la-la, la-la. Light a match and don't be seen, falala, la-la, la-la, la-la. Watch the school burn into ashes, Falala, falala, lalala. Aren't you glad you play with matches..." People would roll their eyes or say "Stop that song." Now a kid would be sent to crisis for a psych eval and maybe charged with terroristic threats for this kind of thing. I work in child psych and I have seen this. When I was a kid, I remember making a hate list of people I wished were dead. These were kids who were mean to me and once in a while my sister or my mom would make the list for something that made me mad. No one ever saw it because I enjoyed privacy, but if they did, they would have just blown it off. I have had kids admitted to my unit for this very thing. Some of the frequent flyers are absolutely convinced that they are just messed up individuals because of this kind of overreaction. And it can be a kind of self fulfilling prophecy.
  14. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from SchoolNurseTXstyle
    It is silly, the requests just continue to grow in absurdity. How can a school guarantee a peanut free facility?? Even if you made this a policy, other than checking every kid and every adult for contraband every day, how could you enforce??? And truthfully, aren't we all (especially parents) supposed to be preparing students for the real world?

    I hope these parents are prepared to have these kids living in their basement way into adulthood because I cannot see them becoming productive members in society.
    I struggle with the peanut free area, especially in HS!!!! Theyarethisclose to being out in the real world and there are way less limited protections in place. First time in over 20 years I have needed areas to be labeled nut free.

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