Hello all. I was looking for some advice from a more natural minded group of people regarding my 3 year old son. I have worked in daycare in my past and know that there are a wide variety of personalities in children and that some are naturally calm and others are incredibly active. What I have noticed with my son is that he has a very hard time focusing. For example, when I am talking to him, it's like he doesn't hear me. He just keeps asking his own question over and over. Even when he gets his question answered, he just keeps asking it over and over and over again. All that is not so much concerning to me though. He's 3. The reason I am seeking some advice is that it has been proven time and again that if I give him just a small amount of coffee, he calms down. He is much more mellow and can focus easier, listens better and will even take a nap. From people around me in my life that are not as like minded as me in my preference for natural approaches, they all immediately say it's a sign of him being add/adhd. I've heard this before, but I am not sure how accurate it is. Also, what are the pros/cons of allowing him to have a few sips of coffee? I am afraid of taking him to the doctor and him being diagnosed for the sake of diagnosis. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
I don't know if this would be a gifted forum thing. The coffee doesn't point to any diagnoses. Small amounts of caffeine are shown to help everyone focus, but the effect is short lived. There are two major cons to caffeine and small children: One is that, like all stimulants, it can stunt growth and three years old is a major rapid growth period. The other thing is that caffeine can backfire and induce anxiety. IMO, a drug is a drug, natural or not. If the question asking is not beyond what you find developmentally appropriate for age 3, then why treat it with any sort of drug, natural or not? You could set a limit on the question asking, as in"I will answer that question once", then follow through and be firm. You can model a pan-do-review approach with attention. Like "What are you going to play next?", then engage him every so often while playing and then ask him about it when he's done, to encourage a longer time focusing on a task. Wouldn't using a behavioral/modelling approach be more "natural"?
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
Just wanted to let u know that u r not alone. This sounds like normal 3 year old behavior to me ... my dd does the same things. I am thinking that a few sips of coffee is not harmful but I am no expert. Maybe trying some calms forte or rescue remedy for kids? Best wishes:)
Wife to my loving husband, James. Mother to a beautiful daughter, Jules (8/6/08). Expecting twin girls September 19th, Jade and Jemma.