Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Am I one ot *those* moms??

I have been going through a rough patch with Charlotte. She is belligerent, wets her pants to get attention, and has real problems with sleep. I have reached the end of my rope with her more than once and have said things and done things to try to get her back in line that I am not proud of.

A meeting with Charlotte's preschool teachers got my mind going. According to them, with her current behaviour at school I should not be surprised if her elementary school teachers start calling me and suggesting she be screened for ADHD. (This is paraphrasing...in between dropping the ADHD bomb they said stuff like "we love her spirit" and "we embrace her individuality"...)

Ahem. Fuck that. I am SO sick of people painting an energetic kid who speaks their mind with the ADHD brush. I will homeschool my kids before I drug them. Period.

This whole changing the diet to change behaviour just smacks of new-age yuppy helicopter mom to me, and it sort of embarasses me to admit I want to try it. The last thing I EVER want to be accused of is being a new-age yuppy helicopter mom.

That being said, I would love to help Charlotte sleep and improve her eczema.

I am looking into counselling for us, and changing her diet. I am starting with eliminating dairy. Next on my hit list will be gluten. They say that mild intolerances to those substances can manifest themselves as sleep and behaviour problems.

Here is an article on milk
Here is an article on gluten

So, here is my question. Is it the diet change that is going to help?
Is it the change in my energy around Char and the slight increase in attention I will pay her while analyzing everything she does going to help her?

I am probably just being crazy and overthinking...as usual.


Anonymous said...

Or, she might just be a preschooler. Sigh.

James has tons of energy, but great focus. He is quite challenging at time and quite charming at others. There are times that I read and re-read my favorite parenting books and just when I think I won't last any longer, we turn the corner.

Good luck.

Sandy said...

Oh Jen.
I too have a child who is obnoxious and borders inappropriate at the best of times. Unfortunately he gets labelled all the time tho no one has dared drop the ADHD bomb on me. I will go to the ends of the earth to help him, if it truly is HIS struggle and not MINE. I often think, is it me that can't deal with his energy or is it his energy that is the problem. Mostly, I think that it's me not dealing with it properly. Afterall, my first child was the polar opposite.
Keep in mind that that particular preschool is one that always seems to have an opinion in areas that that they aren't necessarily trained in. So many ppl think that they are the expert on ADHD. As we know, not even the professionals get it right all the time. I think that people really need to just keep their opinions to themselves and accept that every child is different. Some children are receptive to a firm hand, others will test even further. You know your child best and only you will be able to answer the questions that you asked. Your post really made me think about the shoes that I'm in. Maybe we need to hook up again. Soon. Since last time we never got a chance to talk much about anything, lol!

Obi-Mom Kenobi said...

I am the anti-helicopter mom, and I encourage you to try changing her diet. Dairy is the big one around here - migraines for me, horrendous odor for PL. Red dye gives PL migraines.

He got the ADHD label as a kindergartener - only to find out 2 yrs later that he was having chronic migraines. Teachers love to "diagnose" ADHD and psychologists generally take their word for it since the criteria are so varied and subjective.

As a homeschooling mom who once said, "You'll never catch me doing that," I recommend you do actually look into homeschooling. It's not all crazies anymore. :-)

noelle said...

Are you breathing yet? I lurk here all the time and never comment, but this calls for a comment.

You are a great mom! I have read here enough to know that you adore your children.

I also have seen my kids' behavior change when they eat certain foods. My youngest turns into a holy terror with too much refined sugar. I do totally believe in Feingold diets and the like. And I don't think it makes you a hew age hippy helicopter parent. I am in no way a helicopter parent, but maybe a little bit of a hippy since I just got baby chicks for my birthday...

But...doing what you can to help your kid be a healthy kid who seeks attention appropriately? Yeah, that can only be a good thing.

Carolyn said...

Hey, do YOU know the ASL sign for "helicopter"?


I thought I had something useful and supportive to say, but I think I said it all this afternoon (or was it morning? I know it was sometime today...I think?...). My helicopter mommying sapped all my brain out for the day.

"Above all else, do no harm". There is no harm in properly done dietary interventions, and everything to gain.

I know it feels kinda weird and new-age-ish, but it's because it's so outside of what we're conditioned to do and think. We regard anything outside of the mainstream as suspect.

And you're like me (sometimes I feel like we share a brain... by the way, I'll need the brain a week from Tuesday for the day), where things need to be analysed, compared against your already sizable knowledge because you've already done tons of research, and then challenged. And try to be objective, and not desperate.

I dropped a couple of books off for you and scared the cr*p out of Julie I think. :)

Bobbi said...

We have a friend who has a behavioral change when they eat dairy. So I'd say go for it. I myself watch things like sugar and especially candy. I'm never sure with the candy if it's the sugar or the dyes.

tammi said...

My youngest is extremely energetic and definitely has bit of a listening problem (but not a hearing problem!). She's not willfully disobedient, but it's like when she's focused on what she wants to do, everyone else doesn't even speak her language. Little seems to register unless there's a tone of frustration or the threat of punishment.

So far the school hasn't labelled her, but her own GRANDMOTHER did! In front of us, to a total stranger!!! BEFORE she even started school! I bet you can imagine how furious we were. Grandma's been an EA since the dawn of time, but obviously the practice of button-holing and labelling has become so commonplace that it overrides some people's common SENSE.

Fidget's been in kindergarten now since September and her teacher has never breathed a word of ADHD. Is she stubborn? Yes. Doesn't always listen very well? Check. Tends to want her own way all the time? Definitely. Is she FIVE and just learning social interaction in larger groups??! Yep!

I think you're doing the right thing, seeking solutions on your own, rather than assuming with all the 'professionals' that drugs are the answer.

Ami said...

Yeah, what everyone else said.

And seriously... who cares if you're a helicopter mom or not? It's your job to consider the needs of your children and make sure they're getting what they need. No one else is as qualified to judge their needs as you. No one else views their needs with love above all else.

So helicopter mom? Fly.


Anonymous said...

I think usually they don't recommend testing for ADHD until at least Kindergarten. Before that it is hard to tell the difference between a kid being a kid and a kid having ADHD.

I read Dr. Jay Gordon's book "The ADD and ADHD Cure", which looks at changes to routine, habits, and diet that you can make. It does talk about dairy and gluten, but sugar is the big one.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

I think usually they don't recommend testing for ADHD until at least Kindergarten. Before that it is hard to tell the difference between a kid being a kid and a kid having ADHD.

I read Dr. Jay Gordon's book "The ADD and ADHD Cure", which looks at changes to routine, habits, and diet that you can make. It does talk about dairy and gluten, but sugar is the big one.

P.S. Sorry if this posts twice, I was having trouble submitting it.