How to avoid a time out… (and where hugs fit into it all)

Time outs are often used as a means to ‘discipline’ a child.  It is seen as a way to teach a child not to keep going with a behaviour, by secluding them.  It is often used as a last resort by parents and is obviously more favourable than a smack.  Mostly, time outs are used by parents as this is what their parents used with them.  Without consciously making change, most parents continue to use the beliefs and disciplinary style that were modelled by their parents.

Time outs are not the only way to deal with misbehaviour.  There are actually two ways to treat your child:

  1. Use a disciplinary action such as smacking or time outs, which eventually gets your child to comply out of ‘fear’.
  2. Teach your child in a loving and understanding way where they went wrong and how to behave in a better way next time, promoting your child to respect you and to try to ‘do the right thing’.

By using the second approach, you will find less resistance, more positive change for the long term and a better relationship with your child.  It is not your job as a parent to ‘come down’ on your child when they are misbehaving, but rather to teach them how to behave appropriately, with love and understanding.

This is basically the same way you can treat teenagers.  The more you ‘come down’ on them, they more likely they are to rebel.  The more you get them to understand why you are asking them to do something or pulling them up on inappropriate behaviours, the more they will respect you and comply.

The trouble with ‘time out’:

  • Children just want to be loved by their parents.  Being secluded by their own parents stresses a child’s body physically and emotionally and temporarily removes that love.  A child then does not feel loved unconditionally.
  • There is always a reason for a child to misbehave.  Time outs do not encourage parents to look at why the child was misbehaving in the first place. They simply see their child as having acted ‘naughty’.
  • The child knows they have done the wrong thing by being secluded in a time out but may not understand exactly what they have done wrong, or how to change this behaviour for next time.
  • If the parent has not used age-appropriate language (roughly 2-3 word phrases for 2 year olds, 3-4 word phrases for 3 year olds and ensuring 4 year olds and older actually understand all terms and concepts the parent uses), they can expect the child will possibly misbehave in the same way.
  • A child does not always know to say ‘I didn’t understand what you were meaning/what do I do when this happens next time/why have I been put in my room?’.

How to avoid time outs

  • Choose to look at why your child has acted the way they have, before you assume they are being ‘naughty’ and acting against you.  Why is your child getting to the point of misbehaving?  Are they bored?  Are they excited?  Are they overstimulated?  Are they craving your attention?  Are they having difficulty regulating their emotions?
  • Use age-appropriate language.  Really stop to ask yourself ‘does my child understand what I am saying?’.  Do I need to show my child how to act instead.
  • Aim to teach your child what to do in each scenario.  For example, “no hitting…say ‘mine’”, ‘no playing here (with power point)…not safe…come play here’.
  • You may need to distract on from inappropriate behaviours (such as power points), when your child is too young to understand why they must not play there.
  • Identify with your child’s feelings.  Instead of sending them to time out for hitting, tell them what they are feeling.  For example, ‘you are frustrated…no hitting…come here for a hug’, ‘no hitting mummy…you are frustrated…you wanted books now..dinner…come’.
  • Use natural consequences. If your child tips out all the blocks, ensure they help to pack up, even if it’s hand over hand.  If your child bites a sibling because they are frustrated they ripped their drawing, ensure they help to give some love for the bite (hug, pat, sit with sibling, get icepack) but also ensure the sibling helps to fix the drawing.  Ensuring natural consequences occur is more functional than just demanding your child apologises.  ‘I’m sorry’ is easily muttered without your child learning any lesson of what their behaviour really meant.
  • Expect your child to learn their lesson the first time, IF you have explained it well and have shown them the appropriate action for next time.  Many children (especially young ones), will need to be shown a few times.  Be patient!
  • Be consistent.  If your child shows the same inappropriate behaviour, such as tipping out the blocks when you have just asked them not to, show them to pack them away again.  If your child is enjoying the attention of repeating inappropriate behaviours, move them onto another activity, without feeling the need for further punishment or lectures.  For example, ‘no more tipping….finished…time to eat’.
  • Trust your child will learn the appropriate behaviour, in time.  Keep being patient, modelling the correct behaviour and explaining why you do not approve of the inappropriate behaviour.

How can a hug solve the problem?

Very often, a child is misbehaving to attract your attention, even if it is your negative attention.  This perpetuates a cycle of your child misbehaving, gaining your (negative) attention and so they keep doing this to gain more of your attention.  Yes, sometimes your negative attention is better than none of your attention.

So try it.  Break free of the cycle and give your child a hug, as soon as your child appears to be bored or acting up to gain your attention….and see what happens.

Don’t hold your child accountable for misbehaving. They are a child. They are learning. You will need patience and understanding.  Be happy to teach your child and model how to act appropriately.  Life is too short.  Don’t waste your and their time playing the time out game!

Gluten free ideas

So with elimination diets put out there… Are you considering doing a GLUTEN-FREE trial?
Have you got some alternative foods in mind?
Some good options without turning to the less-than-healthy GF cakes/biscuits/snacks are :
- Organic corn thins (yes right in with the usual brand of corn thins. Our boys have only tested okay to these with kinesiology but to no others)
- Plain Sakata rice crackers (all the rest have MSG in some form on them)
- varieties of nuts – unsalted almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios and hazelnuts
- Orgran multigrain crispibread with quinoa (in healthfood aisle)
- homemade roast sweet potato chips
- vege sticks and homemade hummous
- roasted chickpeas
- kale chips (recipe soon to come-keep an eye out!)

This is just a start! Of course for breakfast, you could do
- an egg on GF toast with avocado
- smoothie with combination of almond milk/coconut milk + cacao, raw egg, seeds/nuts, kale, organic berries
- omelette + leftover chicken
- homemade granola + coconut yoghurt
- or if you have to, GF weetbix or rice puffs – try to add some fruit, seeds or yoghurt to add in some goodness!

Can you think of other ideas for this list??
Please add them to help others out!

:) Heidi

Why dark circles should make you look at your children’s diet

In the olden days, allergies used to be rare and no one knew about food intolerances. But these days, I’d be inclined to say the majority of children are intolerant to at least one food and most little bodies don’t handle food additives and chemicals from their environment.

DARK CIRCLES UNDER THE EYES indicate a sensitivity to a food or chemical.
From my study, I have heard many professionals state that blood tests are not the most reliable method of testing for FOOD INTOLERANCES. They use a simple elimination test (OR this with a blood test, testing for IgG antibodies, not to be confused with IgE antibodies associated with allergies).

The definition of a food intolerance is : if you feel worse when you eat it and better when you don’t, then you have a sensitivity.  For kids, you’ll be looking out for physical and behavioural symptoms rather than relying on them telling you how they feel.  Fedup.com can you give an idea of the types of symptoms you might see.

Some have recommended a 7 day elimination test whilst others have recommended 3 weeks, before reintroducing the food.  I would personally say, the longer the elimination diet, the more the body will give you a clear answer when you reintroduce it.
Can you fathom an elimination diet to work towards better health for your child?

Trust your gut!  What do you think would be impacting on your child the most?  Food additives should be a definite first (ie all numbers, but see fedup.com.au for a list of the nasty nasty ones).  Gluten and/or dairy are also good ones to consider removing.

Some can rip the bandaid off and eliminate many food types at once. Others will need to go slow and steady.  Do what works best for you, to avoid too much stress.  It does not have to be too hard!

FIRST TIPS
Pick a food group to eliminate.
Look through your pantry/fridge to identify ALL the foods that contain this food group.
Brainstorm a list of alternatives.
Let yourself sit with this idea and new list of foods, so you can get your head around the change.
Be positive that what you are doing is worthwhile for your child!  When you believe in it, your child will too.

More to come..

:) Heidi

Why I’m focused so much on food now!

Hi everyone, my followers from the start and the newest to join in.  Thanks!

I am Heidi and my mission is to inspire parents to take an active role in the early years of their children’s lives.  I am thankful that my 4.5 year old son gave me signs that I could not ignore that his health was suffering.  After looking into his eczema, ‘ADHD’, ‘Asperger’s’, candida issues/seasonal allergies, sleep apnoea, low immunity, bedwetting, ear infections, dark circles under the eyes and even rough/dry hair, I have:

  • realised the food/chemical sensitivities that not only Master 4.5 has but also our whole family
  • studied and studied the ‘truth’ about what causes these symptoms that many parents ‘put up with’
  • exhausted myself silly!! and taken on stress from others reactions to our approach to healing ourselves

In the meantime, I have also realised how DIRE our children’s future is if we do not start to realise that we are what we eat, many foods are a REAL problem for our children (even ones that the FOOD PYRAMID will tell you is healthy) and how chemicals can affect our health too.

IMG_6872[1]
It is easy to think of these ‘little’ symptoms, such as eczema or behavioural issues, as ‘little’ issues.  However, it is easy to forget the affect it can have on:

  • your child’s development now
  • how uncomfortable these symptoms might be for your child (who often doesn’t know any different)
  • and their future health. These health issues are all linked to INFLAMMATION, which only continues onto later adult diseases, also linked to chronic inflammation

So with all of this in mind, I am starting to post more about how to get your family’s health more on track and how to do it slightly more easily than I have done it for the last couple of years.  I am not aiming to scare anyone with health messages, but more just to plant seeds in your mind so that you can share these either with others who might need it, or for the day you might need it yourself.

Please let me know if you would like more information on any health topic relating to your child.  I am currently studying to be a family health coach, to help families make small changes for a much healthier life.
And of course, the more you interact with my page, the more you receive posts.

Thanks for joining in! :) Heidi

Operation : Get out of the house!!

Stage 1 : Our new fairy/gnome garden!
Master 4.5 was getting reliant on playing inside, which is okay when he is drawing but not as great for his brain development spending hours in his room playing with Woolworths cards or plastic toys.

photo 1
So we have started ‘forest adventures’ to collect materials, visited Pinterest for inspiration and started reading the Snugglepot & Cuddlepie books to see what it is like to live in nature.

photo 2
Our gnome house is still under construction along with other stick projects!

photo 3
Have you got a kid that gets stuck indoors? Could you fathom organizing a little play garden for your children?
:) Heidi

What your doctor DOESN’T tell you about eczema

Eczema is one of the body’s last cries for help.  It is desperately trying to expel toxins from the body, that it has not been able to do so through other means.  It is related to chronic inflammation of the gut and liver and has much less to do with dry weather and ‘thin skin’ than most fact sheets let on.

So what could be causing it?  A food that the body does not digest well will certainly have the body in turmoil.  A food sensitivity will tend to produce inflammation inside the body and may present as either an allergic reaction or simply nothing external, at first glance. The body may try to cope with this inflammation via eczema, particularly if the liver is functioning poorly.

Chemicals are another cause of eczema.  This may be from external contact such as soaps, chlorine and detergents and also sunscreen.  It may also be from chemicals that the digestive system is exposed to, such as non-organic foods, food additives and even overuse of medications such as steroid creams and antibiotics.  Yes, the very products doctors are prescribing to ‘bandaid’ the effects of eczema!

Besides food and chemicals, stress can be another cause.  Elevated cortisol in the body can literally produce holes in the intestinal lining, allowing undigested food, yeast and other toxins through, again producing inflammation in the body.

What can I do about eczema?  If you aim to get to the root of the problem, try not to turn immediately to steroid creams and ‘dry skin’ products like QV bath oil or Alpha Keri Wash.  These ‘dry skin’ products are still made by pharmaceutical companies, with less-than-natural ingredients such as paraffin, petroleum jelly and parabens (known carcinogens), sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS – a dangerous chemical), triclosan (a pesticide) and a host of other chemicals.

The more detoxifying your child’s body has to do, the more their liver is overloaded and the more likely their body will be forced to excrete these wastes through the skin, as eczema.

To be proactive, you will need to consider either first removing potential culprit foods, at least for an elimination test or turning to natural products, to reduce the body’s toxic load from chemicals.  In the meantime, consuming Omega 3 and 6 oils, in the form of say fish/krill oil, flaxseed/linseed oil, avocado, cold-pressed olive oil and organic nuts such as walnuts are extremely important for those suffering from eczema.  Probiotics, to support gut health, have also shown great improvement.

What are the best natural skin products?  Coconut oil is the best product you can use!  It can be used as a soap, a moisturiser, an antifungal/viral/microbial first aid cream and a bath oil.  It is even an ideal toothpaste (Natural toothpaste recipe) as it kills off the germs and remineralises teeth at the same time.

image : coconutoilbenefits.com.au

image : coconutoilbenefits.com.au

Natural sunscreens do exist.  You just need to visit your local health food store to find them.  Interestingly, studies have shown how sunlight can improve eczema.

How do I determine the culprit food?  This is a tricky one as eczema may not show up immediately after consuming an inflaming food.  Go with your gut.  What foods do you think are the worst offenders for your child?  Start by doing a 3 week elimination test of this food group and then watching closely as you introduce it back in.  Once the body has had a break from this irritating food, it will gain strength and give a much clearer signal of distress when you add it back in.

For those wanting less guesswork, you can seek out an IgG blood test to determine foods your child may be intolerant to, an IgE skin prick test to look at allergies, or using kinesiology to test how the body copes with the main allergens, with simple, pain-free muscle testing.

Is it easier to just ‘bandaid’ the cause?  Initially, it definitely seems easier to ignore eczema by using creams and dry skin products.  It is easy to blame the weather or put it down to ‘no known cause’.  However, eczema visible to our eyes means chronic inflammation on the inside of the body.  Research is showing chronic inflammation is the start of all diseases and even cancer, later in life.  It is linked to auto-immune disorders such as asthma, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s, neurological diseases, arthritis and also linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Eczema will come back to bite harder later in life.  A few simple steps such as adding in Omega 3 oils, probiotics and replacing coconut oil with many chemicals, will significantly reduce your child’s chances of living with eczema.  Looking into removing culprit foods will improve their chances even more.  And chances are, you’ll improve your whole family’s health at the same time.

:) Heidi

What is literacy for Mummy?

Teaching the FUNCTION of literacy is a great place to start with young ones.  Learning the letters is not anywhere on Master2′s radar but he IS very excited to help ‘write his name’ on his banana for daycare.

In his eyes, he IS writing his name!

In his eyes, he IS writing his name!

Can you involve your child in pretending to do this or ‘writing’ a shopping list or even drawing about their day?
This is all what’s called emergent literacy.  Stay tuned for a post on this soon

Dads are important too!

Following my post last night about my role, and my sons’, in I Raise My Kids, I have to say my husband is well and truly a part too!
He is open-minded enough to go along with all of the ideas I have and enthusiastic enough to follow it up.
He takes our childrens’ early years as seriously as I do and hence we both make the most to appreciate our boys and most importantly, spend time with them.

Whilst I am celebrating having an active husband and dad around, I put my heart out to those that don’t have this.  My husband works away many weeks of the year…I can truly appreciate single mums and dads and the ‘overwhelm’ it must sometimes bring.

Hooray for dads…and the single parents that have to fill both roles.
(Yes it’s nearly Father’s Day )

Remember to show your appreciation for these special people in our childrens’ lives too.

Hello and welcome to I Raise My Kids!

Welcome new friends who have joined recently!  It is nice to have more and more people on my adventure with me. 
For those that don’t already know me…
My name is Heidi.  I’m a paediatric speech pathologist (who loves language and brain development as well as picky eaters).  I also have two delightful sons, aged 2 & 4.

This blog started mostly to inspire other parents to take a REAL interest in their child’s life and to give them ideas on how much they can choose to be a part of their child’s most important years.  Over on my blog, you’ll find categories such as, play, speech, language, social skills, mealtimes, behaviour management, pre-literacy skills, reviews, milestones and being a parent.

The serenity...

Due to my son’s food and chemical sensitivities (& thus discovering mine!!), I have been shown a life path that I did not plan for but am very passionate about.  I am currently studying to be a family health coach, to educate more parents to help their children achieve their potential through health and well being.
I have been connecting the dots and have had to question everything for myself as we did not get answers from the medical field.  It is now clearly obvious to my that our children’s development and thus future health is so closely linked with their diet and the environment around them.

By next year, I will be starting my new health coaching business and will launch I Raise My Kids under a new name.  I hope you will continue to let me inspire you to create more health in your family. 
Thanks for joining in!
Heidi

How to eat fluoro green!

Well I meant to make a nice coconut, Asian-style fish dish for dinner tonight.  But instead, I opened up our Thermomix to fluoro green…!  I was extra-keen with the coriander (a great herb to strip heavy metals from our body) but to my surprise the boys LOVED the green sauce and ate the meal!  Hooray for their body’s reaping the benefits.

Here is the recipe:

Fluoro green fish

This dish made enough for three of us (husband away).  I made this in our Thermomix, but please give it a go if you don’t have one.  It’s a forgiving recipe that can be made roughly to these measurements.

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp peeled ginger

1 onion

1/2 bunch coriander roughly chopped (including stems and roots)

4 zucchinis

~20g sesame or coconut oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

~100g finely sliced cabbage

5 mushrooms

(Please add in as many or as little vegetables as you like.  I got side tracked and forgot to put in other veges, like carrot or broc pieces)

~300g local, fresh white fish

~150g coconut cream

Himalayan pink rock salt, pepper to taste

Optional : fresh chilli, lime juice, fish sauce, rapadura sugar.  The boys don’t fare well with most of these foods so we leave them out.  But the dish is still tasty without them :)

1. Add garlic, ginger, onion, coriander and zucchinis to the Thermomix bowl.  Grate 10 secs – SP 8 until smooth.

2. Add oil and cook 100deg – 2 mins – SP 1.

3. Add turmeric powder, salt, pepper, cabbage and mushrooms.  Cook 100 deg - 7 mins – SP 1.

4. Add fish and coconut milk.  Cook 100 deg – 5 mins – SP 1.

Serve with rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice, carrot ‘noodles’ or just as is.

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So once I got my game face on and served the boys this ridiculously green dish (the photo doesn’t do it justice!), Master 4 was shovelling it before I knew it…!  Master 2 came around at the end (his usual trick, taking time to get used to the idea of what was in the bowl and after the obligatory ‘yucky’, with my response ‘say “I’m not sure about it”‘).  It was so green, they didn’t even SEE the cabbage for the greenery!  Woohoo!  It’s a winner.  I’ll be making it again before long to remind the boys of how delicious they found it the first time :)

So what do you think, can you fathom testing your kids on the greenery?