**Please note that nothing contained in this post should take the place of medical advice or treatment. This is simply a re-cap of what I am doing with my own child in order to help him progress comfortably at school.**
I spoke here about my son and his issues with the Kindergarten program at his school. He is a little wild, a lot stubborn and a bit too smart for normal discipline to work on him. He is a free spirit and likes to do what he is interested in, and does not like to do things he is not. His teacher is understandably having a tough time finding ways to motivate him to do his school work and follow the rules regarding what is acceptable behavior.
I readily admit that at times, he is a boy who cannot be contained. His silly, goofy nature loves to shine. I have racked my brain thinking of ways to help my son feel calm and in control while he is at school. He has habits like chewing on objects – crayons, paper, his shoe – whatever he can get his hands on – which I attribute to the stress of not being able to control his environment. All day he has people telling him what to do, how to do it and when to start and finish. He gets to make very few choices in how his day goes, which is a huge change from how it is at home. I have always provided him structure with a lot of choices and time to play on his own. Additionally, up until about a month ago I was babysitting boys from his school, so he was being told what to do from first thing in the morning until bedtime with no break for him to just *breathe* and let it all out. FINALLY I listened to my husband and thought up something called Yes-Time. My husband has told me over and over that he should be allowed to do what he wants when he gets home from school. To me, that sounds scary! Let a 6-year-old do whatever they want!? I imagine him eating Cheetos and ice cream while playing video games all evening. NO SIR!
After the most recent talk I had with his teacher I decided to go out on a limb and try it – anything to help my son. Now as soon as he gets home, he gets one hour of Yes-Time. During this hour, he can do anything he wants and I cannot say no. Let me tell you, it is working beautifully! He has been so sweet and calm, less whining and a better listener. His behavior charts are coming home with all good marks, while before he had on average an hour or two a day where he was acting up. A little freedom has gone a long way for him. We tell him that because he has worked so hard all day, he deserves a time to play and relax. Thankfully he has not asked for anything crazy yet either – I am still waiting for the day when he requests we go to Wisconsin Dells for his hour of freedom.
In addition to Yes-Time, I have added some natural techniques to assist with his behavior.
- A preservative free diet! The Standard American Diet (SAD) is chock-full of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. While I always try to purchase organic, whole foods, sometimes my picky eater needs something packaged in his lunch. Studies have shown that artificial colors and preservatives contribute to behavioral conditions such as ADHD. I know that my son is sensitive to so many different foods that I must assume the chemicals in food have some effect on him. Therefore, I am getting rid of as much packaged and processed food as I can from his diet.
- At night, I combine Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil and coconut oil to his feet. Magnesium is an essential mineral most people are deficient in which helps people feel relaxed. If you have problems with muscle spasms or anxiety, try adding some Magnesium Oil to your daily regimen! **Please be careful when using magnesium oil on children because it can sting the skin if put on sensitive skin. Make sure you dilute properly with coconut oil and I only recommend to apply to the bottom of the feet for children.
- Cod liver oil has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms in studies, due to the fact most people diagnosed are deficient in Omega-3 fats, which constitute 70% of the brain. Cod liver oil has been proven to help with cognitive development in children, such as improved speech, concentration, language skills, etc. It is so important that you make sure your CLO is from a clean source and does not contain mercury. We use Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil, and this brand is also highly recommended by health professionals.
Not only do all of these things have a direct impact on my son’s physical and emotional well-being, I believe the extra attention and focus I am giving him is of great importance as well. It is beneficial for each of us to calmly sit, relax and connect while my focus is only on loving him and helping him. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our schedules that we forget how important patience, a hug and some attention is. Everyday I work on this!
There are less than four weeks of kindergarten left. I am sure there will be a couple of rough days at school before this year comes to a close. No one is perfect – and he’s six years old. As long as he keeps trying, that is fine with us!