I've got a six year old with some very noticeable behavioral problems. She is prone to outbursts and fits of rage, most of those seem to revolve around her seeming inability to cope with frustration and hurt feelings and such. We've tried dealing with this in a number of ways and none of them have helped. I've read tons and tons of parenting books, tried different "consequences", tried reward programs, etc... and to no avail. My intuition is telling me to explore the food allergy avenue. I feel as if her outbursts are something she just can not control, she has even stated that "it's like my mind has a mind of it's own". Originally, this led me to believe maybe there were some deficiencies and I started her on a multi vitamin.... no real noticeable improvement there (behavior anyhow). Huge restrictions on the consumption of processed sugars led to some relief, but not at all like I had anticipated. Her sister is sensitive to gluten (breaks out in hives, and poor digestion), so when we took her off of gluten we took the 6 year old off as well and that didn't really do much to improve her behaviors either, so she's been eating gluten again for awhile now. Where do I start? Do I just go down the list of common allergy foods such as dairy, corn, nightshades, etc? eliminating until I find the answer?... and how often are children's behavior problems linked to sensitivities to food additives? Any experience/advice appreciated!
Love and Light,
Your DD sounds a lot like the child of one of my neighbors. You say you took her off processed sugars. For this girl, it was pretty much all carbs, and any type of sweetener. It was basically a crash after having the sugar. And the girl is sooooo much different a year later. I'll ask her the name of the book.
Though for mood, my DS has big mood changes from soy, and right now I'm looking at carrots too. He used to cry uncontrollably after eating eggs. So food definitely could be a factor, though from what you said, I'd go with the sugar theory first.
Either way, keep a food journal down to ingredient level, and all symptoms (sleep, bowel/bladder habits, rages, tantrums, etc.) and see if you notice any patterns.
The book is called "Little Sugar Addicts".
I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to support your intuition that this is a allergy. For my DD it was wheat that caused exactly what you are describing. Eliminating it helped absolutely. It was confirmed several times (some by accident, some by soft parenting; Christmas, you know?) and each time it was the day after, she became non-verbal, violent, and just, well overwhelmed by emotion, anger, sadness, frustration. Now wheat is gone absolutely. I still had to deal with problems like occasional biting and hitting (she was 4, after all), but she didn't look like Mt. St. Helens warming up for an eruption, and she finally got off the couch and starting having some real, sustained energy.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
My little sister was this way as a child. For her, it was food dye, especially red, and gluten. I think you are totally right to look at food allergies, and as hard as it can be, when you figure it out it is totally worth it. Because there is gluten allergy in the family, I would cut it out completely. Even though it didn't fix the problem before, it might be a piece of it. Maybe there is another food too. Best of luck. I see it's been a while, have you tried anything?
I would get her a blood allergy test to see what foods she may be sensitive to. I have been reading a lot about how food allergies are linked to digestive tract health. If it seems like she has typical environmental allergies like pollen, dust or dander or chemical sensitivities you may want to consider an air purifier. I was reading a lot about them the other night on http://hepa-air-purifier.org. If you think it may help, take a look. Hope that helps.