Saturday, October 16, 2010

DAY 12 – When “time-out” Isn’t Working Well (part 1)

“Look at me. Look at my eyes when I am talking to you. What do you say to your sister? You know the rules. If you won’t tell her you’re sorry, you’re going to time-out.”

Most families in America have one or more children with “behavior problems”. Define it how you will, but I am talking about behaviors that require repetitive interventions, repetitive attempts to ignore them, or both.

Disparaging words are often spoken about parents of children with behavior problems; usually behind their backs. I don’t have anything unfriendly to say about parents raising children with difficult behavior, but I do have a suggestion that might change their lives, and change the lives of their children.

(photo from

Our cultural belief is that the combination of compassion, guidance, education, listening, patience, firmness, and setting a good example, should lead to good behavior in our children, assuming they are getting enough sleep, food and water. Unfortunately, in many cases, providing all of these does not result in good behavior.

A critical factor that is usually left out in assessing and responding to chronic and/or episodic behavioral disturbances in children is the food that the child is eating.

I am careful with my use of the word “fact”. And, it is a fact that food can, and often does influence behavior in children. I say it is a fact because I have observed the phenomenon on many occasions, because hundreds of parents have reported to me that they observe their child’s behavior change as a direct result of food, and because I have talked with and read reports from dozens of doctors who report clinical and/or research evidence that says that it is so.

There are multitudes of published accounts of children’s lives that have gone from out-of-control to peaceful and rewarding by simple dietary change. One need not be a marriage and family counselor to appreciate the relief for a family upon having a member regain the ability to cooperatively interact and contribute.

~ more tomorrow .....

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