A baby or child that won’t sleep, or a persistently naughty child is every parent’s nightmare. As my knowledge steadily increases, it seems to me, more and more, that there is always a reason for difficult behaviour. Assuming a loving home life, a child is not naturally naughty all the time, and should sleep and eat reasonably well. So my suggestion is, instead of struggling with the child, it is time to put on the detective hat and try to work out what the child or baby is trying to tell us. Here is a list of six possible causes of trying behaviour.
- Too much sugar in the diet.
- Trauma at birth.
- An accident
- Dyspraxia/something wrong
Sugar in the diet.
I have known clients complain about how difficult it is to get their children to bed at night. When asked about what their children eat, then it is hardly surprising that the poor child find it hard to settle. Sugar is temporarily very energising and, in these fat phobic days, it is added to a frightening amount of food in frightening quantities. That healthy fruit yoghurt bought for pudding has eye watering amounts of sugar added. Fruit juice is a sugar drink. Fizzy drinks. Well, I refer to a previous blog on the subject. Other forms of sugar include crisps/hula hoops as well as sweets. All these things jack our children up, so if a child is badly behaved at home or at school or won’t go to bed at night, then have a good look at their diet and restrict the sugary, easy carbs. Yes, the child will complain. Sugar is highly addictive. But if the storm is weathered, the child will be much happier as a result.
Trauma at birth.
A difficult birth or one involving forceps can leave a baby’s skull misaligned. This has a big effect upon the whole of the child’s system, making for one cross bunny. A sacral cranial osteopath will sort this out, and sooner is better.
As a mother myself, who trod the weary path to A&E with her offspring, it sometimes seems a wonder that a child can reach school age, since they trip, fall off things, or investigate something too closely. Head and jaw traumas are particularly problematic, so if the child suddenly becomes difficult and we remember a nasty bang to the head, then again this needs investigating as an extremely likely cause of the problems.
At Christmas there was a programme on TV called 50 shocking facts about diet and exercise. One of the myths is that we get all our nutrition from our food. This truly shocking fact was quoted: in 1914 a cabbage contained 248mg of calcium; in 1992 it contained only 47mg calcium. In 1914, spinach had 64mg of iron, by 1992 this had shrunk to 2.70mg. 1992 is 20 years ago! I do not know where they got these facts – but a point I frequently make is that the application of chemical fertilisers weakens our plants and all the animals that eat them – including us. Chemical fertilisers contain principally nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. To be healthy a plant needs an average of 17 vitamins and minerals and a human, 30. So as they grow, the plants take from the soil what nutrients they can, and, over the years, these vital nutrients get depleted.
And then we get pregnant and grow a baby. After a couple of years, we may well grow another. As a mother, we are depleted in important nutrients, and so our baby will be too. Added to this is the fear of skin cancer, so the child (and we) get minimal amounts of vitamin D from the sun. As final insult, there is a lack of omega 3 from the diet. And then we wonder why our children are badly behaved, prone to eczema/asthma/do not sleep well.
So if a child or baby does not sleep well, the first thing to try is magnesium. This can come as an Epsom salt bath, as a cream, or as a product called Ubermag, which is a pill, which will help older children. Fussy eating can be tackled with the highest quality omega 3 supplementation, and if that doesn’t help the problem, then try zinc. A high quality child’s multi vitamin will help (so not available from Holland and Barrett or Tescos, then) . And for the child prone to asthma, colds and infections, there is a product called Immune Supreme, which will build up their immune system. Contact me for more details about this drink.
Dyspraxia, clumsiness, poor co-ordination.
Sometimes the problem stems from ‘faulty wiring’. Dyspraxia is the physical equivalent of dyslexia, which means the dyspraxic child has difficulties with co-ordination, with balance and with fine motor skills. School sports will be a total nightmare for the poor child and humiliation a daily event. Yes, there is a huge variation in everybody’s strengths and weaknesses, but if the child really struggles with things the majority seem do more easily, then it is certainly worth investigating further.
Sometimes the cause won’t be as dramatic as dyspraxia; for some reason the child’s eyes are not working as well as they might. This too can cause all manner of problems, including scoliosis as well as poor co-ordination and/or ball skills.
Z health helps.
This last possibly the most distressing. If a child’s behaviour suddenly changes or they just get a bit more difficult and there really doesn’t seem to be any reason – no bang to the head and so on – then there is the possibility they are being abused or bullied, and their difficult behaviour is their only way of getting our attention. After all, the abuser will be telling them not to tell. It may require gentle persistence to get to the bottom of that one.
Hopefully I have given food for thought. A child is not naturally naughty. It sleeps well, is healthy, active and has a good, broad based appetite. Yes, all children have their moments and sibling rivalry is never a joy. But overall, raising a child should have an excellent dose of pleasure. Of course, if the difficulty is they are happily extremely active, and we find this a problem, the answer could well lie in sorting ourselves out so we have the energy to deal with them. To grow a baby takes nutrition from the mother, and our food doesn’t replace that nowadays, with the result that we, as mothers, find ourselves exhausted, sleeping badly and prone to every cold drifting about. I bear the T shirt for that one – and truly wish I knew then what I know now. Don’t suffer. Contact me and I’ll help.