It seems that so many parents, teachers and medical and wellness practitioners have an outdated interpretation of what ‘stress’ actually is. The widespread belief is that when the child is uptight and emotional about something, this causes stress. Yet in so many cases what actually causes stress is not the emotion, it is something unhealthy that is going on in the child’s body. When this remains hidden, undiagnosed and untreated, it has the ability to cause mood, behavior and learning problems. In other words your child can have something unhealthy going on in his/her gut and this could be creating the behavior and learning challenges that you are seeing!
The problem is that doctors are treating what the child is displaying but not the underlying cause!
So, for example, if your child is having meltdowns, seems angry, sad, confused, irritable, negative, argumentative, or cannot focus, attend, sit still, your first step is to explore whether there is an underlying physical cause. By treating the physical cause there is a high chance that the behavior or learning problem either goes away – or is significantly reduced, without having to resort to giving your child prescribed drugs.
Physical Causes of Behavior and Learning Problems
In the old-fashioned interpretation of stress, parents, teachers and doctors will say, ‘I wonder what is bugging him/her?’ Then they would look for something emotional. What you need to do instead is to look for an actual bug in the child’s body. This is what happens. We all have good bugs and bad bugs in our bodies. When we are healthy, these good and bad bugs are in the correct balance. But the bad bugs can take over and upset the balance when the good bugs are killed by antibiotics, stress, diet (sugar, dairy, refined carbs) and toxins. This is when the parasites, bacteria, fungus, and allergens take control, which then results in inflammation, allergies, behavior changes, mood changes and learning conditions.
The 7-Step Parents, Take Charge! Program
There are 7-Steps that I teach in my workshops that would help you, as a caring parent, to keep your child’s body and brain in peak condition. In this blog I will focus on one of these steps. This particular step offers you a mini ‘degree’ on what could be going on in your child’s body, and how this could be an underlying cause of focus, attention, learning and behavior issues. This is the step in which you update your understanding of what stress is and you learn skills for recognizing and removing stress from your child’s – and your own – life. For example, do you know that the single most important system of the body, when it comes to a child’s emotional, learning and physical wellbeing, is the digestive system? If there is something in the digestive system that is preventing the child from digesting, absorbing and assimilating nutrients, this will impact everything in the child’s life.
Once you have empowered yourself with knowledge, you can then Take Charge! by finding a doctor that practices systemic or functional medicine or uses the biomedical approach (different names for curing the cause and not just the symptoms). Tell the doctor you want to literally investigate what is bugging your child. Doctors who practice functional medicine will know what you mean and will use specialized tests to diagnose this. It is also important to know that the treatment plan this doctor will give you will be customized to treat your child’s particular underlying issues. Doctors who practice this approach do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ way of practicing medicine.
Are You Up for this Challenge?
The Take Charge! step we discussed today will help you identify and remove any underlying health problems your child may have. (This applies to adults as well). In the other steps of the program you will learn a whole new way of relating to your child emotionally, recognizing what your child’s body is telling you, and knowing how to treat your child through nutrition, movement and touch.
Yes, it is easier to take the script to the pharmacy and swallow a tablet that takes effect in 24 – 72 hours. But think about the side effects and what we are teaching our children when we do this. We are teaching them to resort to medication whenever they don’t feel good. And, we are creating a medicated generation, who will then medicate their offspring because this is the way they cope with life!
It’s your choice. You can Take Charge! or Take Medication!
By Taking Charge! with new knowledge and new skills you will be giving your child ‘a gift for life’ as well as ‘a gift of life’.