Are you struggling with your child’s bad behavior? You’re not alone. Millions of frustrated parents just like you are practically tearing their hair out trying to figure out what’s causing their child’s behavioral problems. Before you take him to the nearest psychiatrist, let me share a secret with you. Behavior disorders don’t just happen. They’re not random chemical imbalances that just occur out of the blue.
What Causes Bad Behavior in Children?
Most child behavior disorders can be traced back to four basic triggers:
- Environmental Toxins
Environmental toxins are everywhere. Your child may be exhibiting behavioral problems because they are having an allergic response to the neurotoxins in their environment. Neurotoxins include the BPA found in plastics, air fresheners, cosmetics, household cleaning supplies, mattresses, and flooring can all contribute to changing child behavior.
- Food Allergies
Food allergies are another surprising cause of bad behavior in children. Gluten and food dyes are the two common culprits. Even without the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with celiac disease, your child’s brain could still be adversely affected if he or she is sensitive to this protein. Brain fog, learning difficulties, and aggression in children have all been traced back to undiagnosed gluten intolerance.
Food dyes have been scientifically-proven to cause unusual behavior in children. If your child is a big fan of soda, candy, gum, and bright-colored breakfast cereals, this may be exactly what’s causing her bad behavior. And speaking of soda, children should not consume it. It contains a chemical sweetener called aspartame that can lead to permanent neurological dysfunction in her growing brain.
When you think of trauma, you might picture a child living through a house fire or suffering systematic abuse. Not every trauma is this extreme. Children’s brains work differently than adult brains because they are still developing. Because of this, they are incredibly sensitive to their environment. Something as simple as accidental exposure to a scene in a horror movie or a bullying incident at school is enough to re-wire your child’s brain and drastically alter his behavior.
- Parenting Techniques
Parenting techniques can change your child’s behavior as well. Many parents use a permissive or an authoritarian style.
Authoritarian parents commonly punish children by taking away privileges or using verbal or physical reprimands in an attempt to control their children’s behavior. Children of authoritative parents are offered little explanation of what they did wrong and are expected to obey commands without asking questions.
They obey ‘rules’ to avoid punishment but may not have a clear understanding of the reasoning behind it them. This type of parenting can cause children to become fearful, confused, and frustrated. They may act out these feelings in tantrums, emotional meltdowns, and aggressive acts toward their peers.
Permissive parents, on the other hand, allow their children to freely express themselves with little consequence. They often have few demands and little expectations of their children. Children of permissive parents are often clingy and insecure. They may also lack boundaries and exhibit poor social skills, which can make functioning appropriately in a classroom or play setting challenging for them.
If you take your child to a psychiatrist for her bad behavior, he will never suggest making natural changes to improve your child’s behavior. He will most likely suggest medication because that’s what the drug companies give him kick-backs for.
Most child behavioral problems can be corrected at home with a combination of diet, exercise, supplements, and specific parenting techniques.
- Clean Up Her Diet
It may surprise you to know you can change your child’s behavior just by improving her diet. Try cutting all traces of gluten and food dyes out of your child’s diet for a period of one month. Feed her plenty of organic vegetable, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, wild-caught fish, poultry, and meat. Also, make sure your child consumes plenty of healthy fats. Butter, coconut oil, avocado, and flax seed are rich in healing omega-3 fatty acids that are crucial for brain development.
- Get Out and Play
Anxious, hyperactive children have a lot of nervous energy to get rid of. According to an article published in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, exposure to “green” environments reduce ADHD symptoms in children. Play with your child. Get her outside in the backyard or on a hiking trail and show her the world. Let her run around and express herself but offer firm, protective boundaries if behavioral problems start to surface.
- Add Supplements
Children with behavioral problems often have nutritional deficiencies and low gut bacteria. The gut is referred to as “the second brain” so if gut health is compromised, chances are, so is neurological health. Consider adding a probiotic supplement to boost your child’s natural gut flora. Your child’s growing brain depends on omega-3 fatty acids. Consider adding a krill oil supplement. You may also want to add a whole-food multivitamin formulated just for children to fill in any other nutritional gaps.
- Modify Your Parenting Style
Both authoritative and permissive parenting cause bad behavior in children. The most effective, tried-and-true method of successful parenting is called ‘Democratic Parenting’. Within just a month of implementing this effective and easy parenting style, you will see your child change for the better in just a few days.
Child behavioral problems are so difficult for frustrated parents to deal with. If you can’t stand the strange looks people are giving you in public or the constant phone calls from the school, you now have the power to take control of the situation.
Clean up your child’s diet and invest in as many natural housecleaning products and cosmetics as possible. Eliminate air fresheners from your home. Switch to BPA-free plastics. Spend time talking with your child when he or she acts up. Do what you can to calm your child down and let him talk and cry as much as he needs or wants to while you keep him safe in your arms. This allows him to expel any pent-up feelings of fear, anger or anxiety so the behavior does not continually repeat itself.