Everything in life goes through a process of natural evolution, where it is first a great idea that gets adopted by the masses, which produces positive results for a period of time and and then gradually begins to become less useful, less relevant and less effective because the world has changed and research has revealed new information. When something is not working as well as it used to, this is the time to admit that the time for change has come.
The practice of medicine is currently going through a huge change because the way that ADHD and other learning, behavior and mood symptoms in children has been treated, has not been successful in helping children overcome this. In this new form of medicine, called Functional Medicine, we have discovered that the body, brain and spirit functions as one interdependent system – a healthy body is a healthy brain is a healthy spirit and the same the other way round.
This one system approach means that ADHD or depression or temper tantrums, are not necessarily a problem in the brain but can be caused by a problem in the gut, for example. This will then change the way in which parents would help kids with these kinds of challenges. I believe that the way that parenting skills are taught is missing a vital piece. This is the understanding that the day-to-day parent-child issues could be caused by something happening in the child’s body and that it is this that causes the child to have temper tantrums or fight with siblings or be irritable.
Most often there is something making children miserable on the inside which causes them to display negative behaviors. Of course this is not always the case. Children who are experiencing emotional stress or who are spoiled and undisciplined will behave inappropriately and this must be addressed. But if there is something else happening in the child’s body that has remained undetected, that is causing bad behavior, then parenting skills will not help. Trying to apply even the best of parenting skills to a child that has something unhealthy going on in his body and hoping to change the child’s behavior is like trying to create a butterfly by putting wings on a caterpillar. It cannot work.
Parenting Skills Training has been around for a very long time. There are a huge range of excellent programs that parents can attend to enhance their ability to effectively shape their children’s behaviors. These programs teach parents what to do and say in the different situations that they face on a daily basis in their relationships with their children. The problem is that children cannot respond appropriately to these parenting tools if there is something going inside them that is setting off their behavior. This is why effective parenting in the 21st century, needs to be updated to include the latest information on the relationship between biological factors and behavior.
Here is a short list of just some things that can cause children to be irritable, difficult and behave inappropriately:
Do you know if your child is affected by any of the above?
The concept of effective parenting today has expanded vastly to include an understanding of the relationship between biochemistry, balanced body systems and how kids behave. We owe it to our children to stay ahead with our knowledge and skills so that we know how to be the best parents possible.