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.

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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

Would it matter on the moon?

We go through struggles everyday between the 2 boys over things that ‘don’t really matter’. But actually, who am I to say it doesn’t matter?  For them as a child, in that stage, maybe it does matter…  Or maybe they don’t know how to understand the situation any differently.

So I might:
– label their feelings – eg ‘you are frustrated he won’t give it back to you’ or ‘you had in your mind you were going to sit in that seat..you are disappointed’
– show them how to deal with it – eg ‘do you think you could show him a better way with different pieces, then he might not care about the ones you want?’ or ‘ask him “could we swap chairs?”‘
– OR I might say to Master4 ‘if we went on a holiday to the moon….do you think we’d care about this problem right now?’.  Thinking, he usually agrees ‘no we wouldn’t’.  So now I can say, ‘if we were on the moon…?’ and if he’s happy to leave it, phew!  If not, it probably does matter to him!

Do you go through these struggles over small things with your little ones?  How do you deal with it?

Autism inspired me to learn more

Autism is where my interest in child development started.  A child with autism (or ASD) isn’t quite like us, but yet can possess some unbelievably amazing skills.  I have met parents of children with autism who have shown me what it means to ‘do all that it takes’ for their child & then deal with others questioning that.
Children with autism have difficulty communicating, playing, processing sensory information and understanding the social norms the rest of us just ‘get’.  Once you learn about where it can all break down, you realise how intricate our brain is.
I’ll leave you with a little pic that really does sum up how complicated social interaction is for a person with autism.
Happy Autism Awareness Month!
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ENOUGH!!

Have you got a child who just LOVES to talk?  On the positive side, good verbal skills is always a great quality to have.  The child that isn’t afraid to say what’s on their mind or gain some attention through their stories will certainly benefit.  However, constant talking can drive a parent to drink!

How do you deal with your little chatterbox?  Firstly, remember it is in your child’s personality to talk.  They are not doing it to be annoying!  Having understanding can give you a tiny bit more patience. Does your child know the ‘unwritten rules‘ about conversations?  When is it appropriate to talk?  When is it inappropriate to talk?  How does your child know when they’re getting a bit boring?  And how do they ‘wrap up’ what they are talking about?

Here are some conversations to have with your child.  It might be worth whipping out a pen and paper and drawing it, cartoon-strip style.  My post When in doubt, say it with a pen goes into more detail about the benefits of drawing to explain to your child.

see, mum isn't looking at you here... what will you need to do?

see, mum isn’t looking at you here… (before you’ve drawn the rest of the drawing) what will you need to do?

  1. Make sure you have the person’s attention!  This is an essential social skill that is almost vital for the child that loves to talk.  If you’re going to talk, make sure someone is actually paying attention 🙂 You might encourage your child to say the person’s name first and then WAIT.  Wait for that person to look their way or acknowledge them with a ‘yes?’ or another word.  If the person isn’t looking at them, they might need to call their name again.  Or even tap them (show your child what to do).  But if that person looks busy with someone else or doing something else, your child will need to WAIT.  You will need to run through some examples, such as ‘Daddy is busy brushing little Josh’s teeth, when he has finished, try calling his name again’.  And then there is the time when your child is still talking as you buckle them into the car and close the door and the story is STILL going as you get into the car – remind your child to take note if you are looking at them and able to hear them.  If not, they need to stop talking and wait.  This point could definitely use a drawing to accompany and would only be understood by children 3 years or older.  And will need plenty of practice!
  2. Take turns at talking, remember to LISTEN.  Without being a Nazi about it, you might really have to spend some time pointing out when you have started talking first if your little one interrupts.  Young children need some time to get used to waiting and not interrupting, but it is a good social skill to persist with pointing out.  You might remind your little one, to be a good friend, you have to remember to listen too 🙂
  3. No talking when I’m on the phone! Except..  Explain to your child that when the phone is ringing, you have to answer it then and there.  And you can’t talk to two people at once.  Your child will have to wait until Mum puts the phone down.  UNLESS (start thinking of all the times when you’d want your child to interrupt your phone call). For younger children, you might start with just a few examples – if you get hurt, you come and tell me if I’m on the phone… This leads into ‘what is an emergency’ talk down the track.
  4. Mummy needs a break from listening sometimes.  Some children honestly believe they have the right to your attention whenever they need and it can dampen their spirit when they are not feeling listened to enough.  But they do need to learn when enough is enough, particularly by the time they start school!  You might start by giving a warning ‘just tell me what happened next/just one more question, then Mummy needs a break for a bit’.  Then be specific about what your child needs to do to ‘stop talking’ (short of saying ‘close your lips!’).  For example, ‘Cooper can have a break from talking and play in his room with his cars for 10 minutes, while Mummy goes to the toilet’ (and don’t start further conversations if they follow you there!).  You might need to physically separate your child and yourself for even just a few minutes for your child to understand ‘being quiet’ and you ‘taking a break’.  This can then build into longer periods of quiet play where they are encouraged to talk to their toy friends and make up stories with them. Bring on pretend play!
  5. Sometimes a sibling might need attention or you are just a bit busy for a good talk.   If your little one is getting enough one-on-one time with you and still vying for your attention at other times, this is when you can teach them that besides you needing a break, a sibling might need some attention or you might just be a bit busy for a good talk.  Always give them a tangible time to come back and try again.  ‘Let me just watch this bit of the news and when I turn off the TV, I will be all yours’, ‘I’ll just finish on the toilet and when I come out, you can tell me your story’, ‘Josh is pointing at something, but when I have worked out what it is, I will let you know..’.  If you find you are fobbing your little one off a lot, this is when you will have to make up for it by offering them some full attention in between.
  6. Help your child to get to the point!  If your child is spending five minutes trying to work out how to ask the question in their head, you might need to simply ask ‘so what is your question?’.  Or if they are telling you a five minute monologue, try guiding them with questions, to help them ‘make their point’.  You might need to keep summarising what they are saying, just to keep on top of the whole story!
  7. Remember, talking is a way for your child to process.  If your child is asking the 100th question, go through the story or the reason over and over, even if you have to say ‘let’s talk about this again after lunch (or tomorrow morning)’.  The questions are important to them and repeating them is necessary for some children to really understand what might have happened to them, what might happen to them or information they want to know about.  It can be exhausting, but bring in your understanding and you will have more patience!

So go out and practice your strategies with your child, certainly not all at once!  Whilst they may still talk more than the average child, remember that there is still some ‘taming’ that you can do especially for them to succeed in the classroom.  Aim for your child to be very familiar with the above points by school age.

I Raise My Kids is also at facebook 🙂