Drinking water… Or not

Katherine is chronically dehydrated and has been for years. Try as we might, we cannot get her to drink water. We’ve done everything (and I do mean everything) short of tying her down and dumping water down her throat. She refuses to drink. When we do get her to drink, she’ll take a tentative sip and then complain about stomach pain, headaches, exhaustion… ugh…. It is honestly the biggest frustration I have with her.

But I think we’ve found a solution. We took Myron to the doctor a few weeks back because of a really nasty cough. While we were there, I had the sudden thought to have the doctor put the fear of God in Katherine regarding drinking water. Oh man, did he come through for us! 🙂

Without missing a beat, the doctor looked Katherine straight in the eye and said, “If you don’t drink water, I’m going to have to put a needle this big [holding his fingers apart to show her] into your arm to keep you healthy.” Katherine’s eyes got real big, her face turned white, and she looked at me for confirmation, which I provided with a single, but very sober, nod of my head.

She still doesn’t drink water, but all we have to do now is look at her water bottle and say, “Uh oh… you’re not drinking enough water. I think we’ll call the doctor….” That’s all it takes.

Seriously though, we are so worried about her lack of water intake. I’ve tried to measure it, and yesterday I think she drank less than 8 ounces. Not even kidding. That doesn’t count water from food, but that is minimal at best. Granted that yesterday was one of the worse days in the recent past, but still… 8 ounces?

Have any of you had similar issues with your kids? How did you handle it? At this point, I’m willing to do just about anything to get her to start drinking.

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5 Responses to Drinking water… Or not

  1. Sarah says:

    My first thought is to add a little something to her water. A little spriz of lemon or apple juice, but since you’ve done everything, I’m betting you already tried that. Is she drinking milk?

  2. nosurfgirl says:


    Well… what I did was to give my daughter a corner of the fridge she could rummage through and eat without my monitoring, because I realized it was a power struggle.

    Hers was about food, though… I don’t know about water.

    I have to think though, that if there were a way to take the power struggle out of it, maybe she’d come around.

    there are also just people who hate to drink water. (?!) Maybe she doesn’t like something about the taste of the water, similar to Courtney? Maybe if you gave her a special pitcher, with her own special water, and said it was “yummier” somehow…

    Of course, you’ve probably tried a lot of things similar to that already.

  3. Sarah L. says:

    Feed her some really salty foods or something really rich. I’m totally guessing. 😀 Or challenge her to a drinking contest and tell if if she wins, she gets ______.

  4. daveloveless says:

    So I’m supposed to play drinking games with my six-year-old daughter…. 🙂

    Sadly, we’ve already done most of those suggestions. She always does well for about a week and then stops again. About the only thing that really seems to work is to give her juice/crystal light instead of water, but I’m opposed to that being a long-term solution. But short-term….

  5. Sarah L. says:

    Yes! Drink her under the table!

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