It is late in the afternoon, your child is running around and you can’t seem to make him stop. All you want is some quite time with your son, to play together nicely, and not having to run after him and catch him while he jumps on the sofa.
I am sure you are familiar with this picture in some form or another, and you may have run out of ideas on how to calm down your child. You may think your kid is being naughty, and blame him for his actions, but have you ever stopped to think why he may be acting like that?
If you think about your child as a miniature human being, that is affected by external and internal factors, just like you, then it may be easier to get to the bottom of his behaviour. There are a great number of factors that can provoke bad behaviours within our children, some of them we may not even think about. These can be unsatisfied physical needs, such as hunger or tiredness, it can be the food they are eating, powerful emotional reactions and the inability of dealing with them or even your state of mind can affect the way your child behaves.
I want to have a look at one of these areas that I am passionate about, and that is sweets. I strongly believe that sweets are unhealthy for children of all ages. I am not saying that they should never have sweets, but it is important where those sweets come from, as long as you know what they are made of. Healthy, natural ingredients make some wonderful desserts or sweets, and it is even better when you make them at home together with your little one.
But the one I am concerned about, and I am not the only one, is sugar. Processed sugar you find in most sweets and chocolate (and we all love a bit of chocolate). If your child just had some chocolate before lunch that is you clue for a soon to be extra active kid. Just as Margot Sunderland explains in her book “What every parent needs to know”, the reason behind his behaviour is that chocolate he just had instead of a healthy meal. As soon as he eats that, his blood sugar levels rocket. In a few minutes you will have a super energetic baby, but this energy will be counterbalanced by his body producing insulin to get the sugar level back down. In fact, this actually drops lower than before your baby had that chocolate. This is when your kid becomes hyperactive or even aggressive, because his blood sugar levels are way too low.
I know you may think ‘no, that is not the reason my baby is like this’ but you may want to consider this option as well. That doesn’t mean that every time you kid is misbehaving it is because of his sugar levels; but, at the same time, it may be that you don’t have a misbehaving child just because ‘that’s who he is’, there is always a reason behind that behaviour, and it is worth considering all the options.
Margot Sunderland, ‘What every parent needs to know’