"My 5 year old must take a pill in the morning and syrupy medicine at night. Its very important medication, and once she starts, she must keep it going for 9 months without fail (she was exposed to TB as a child).
How do I get her to understand the importance and severity, what kind of logic, reasoning, etc., should I employ?
I'm prepared to be creative with the procedure, ie mix the stuff with food, or crush it in food, or let her swallow it with favorite beverage, etc., but I'm not sure how to drive home the importance of the medication without scaring the beejeesus out of her."
I don't have a 5-year-old yet, so I may be underestimating or overestimating the maturity of your daughter and 5-year-olds in general. But I'd be tempted not to make an issue out of it at all.
I wonder what would happen if you said to her, "You're going to have to take this pill every morning until next summer, and this medicine every night. You can take it with chocolate milk if you want, but we have to make sure you do it before you brush your teeth each day. Got it? Great!" and then just moved on with the day? I think making a really big deal out of it and stressing how important it is will only a) freak her out, and b) set it up as something that she can fight you about. If it seems like a neutral issue but you never let her brush her teeth without having taken the meds, she'll just get used to it.
Parents of 5+-year-olds? Does this make sense? Or am I setting Molly up for a wrestling match twice a day?