You can usually tell when it’s allergy season based on my son’s behavior, despite having him on the GAPS diet. I will admit we are not 100% strict and that may be a factor. But anyway, he will have several months of being amazing, and then things just start getting worse and worse and worse by the day. Until I start getting the grumps…
and I never, ever, ever, get the grumps! And then I remember, there’s actually things that I can do! They are never immediate, but still, they work pretty quickly to return him back to his center.
1. Take Time To Connect
When our children get out of control, we may have a difficult time connecting and just letting them know that we are there for them–good or bad. They need to know this and feel it, too. In times like these, I prefer to get outside and connect, somewhere where there isn’t much going on. This is sometimes our neighborhood pool (which is often empty or pretty close to it), or the lake where mostly ducks and turtles play. It helps us to give each other undivided attention and bond more effectively. I’m sure the fresh air and sunshine help as well.
2. Detox Baths
These are my first go-to. My bath additions of choice include Epsom salts and baking soda. They are cheap and can be bought in bulk. I buy this huge bag of baking soda in bulk at Costco or Sam’s for less than $6! My rule of thumb is a cup of Epsom salts, or 4-5 cups of baking soda. Yes…all that in one bath! I find that both baths help him to relax and calm down, although I’ve heard Epsom salts revv some kids up.
3. Fermented Foods And Probiotics
There is a strong link between gut condition and behavior. As such, it is important to ensure that your child has a healthy internal ecosystem. Fermented foods are offer great benefits against pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, fungi, molds, and parasites. Milk kefir and sauerkraut are two of the most beneficial ferments, although others will provide great benefits as well.
A magnesium deficiency can cause a whole host of issues–poor sleep and bad moods are just two of many. Epsom salt baths will provide some magnesium, and magnesium oil is another great option. I do both with my son, because he definitely has an increased need for magnesium!
5. Do An Enema
Constipation can cause unwanted behaviors in little ones, because they are dealing with pent up toxins and possibly some discomfort as well. An enema is a great way to lower their toxic burden in a pinch. Long-term, you’ll want to make sure they are getting enough healthy fats and magnesium.
6. Balance Their Blood Sugar
This may mean reducing sweets and fruit, upping healthy fats such as butter and tallow, or both. Hunger and blood sugar drops are common reasons for crankiness, even in adults! Making sure your child is getting a good amount of fat in their diet can really help. I give my son fats with pretty much everything, and he eats spoonfuls of butter and cream in-between meals as well.
7. Experiment with Elimination
Allergies and intolerances are major, major causes of bad behavior. Phenols such as salicylates (suspect this if your child acts up after having red dye!) and food toxins such as oxalates are big culprits, although other such as histamines may play a role as well. Other major culprits are gluten and dairy, although for some just going gluten-free will not be enough.
Gelatin has many great benefits, including strengthening the gut and reducing inflammation. Inflammation can cause a child to feel unwell and lash out in unexpected ways. Drinking broth helps us keep inflammation at bay. There are many ways to get broth into your kids!
Is the problem YOU? Check out Ahaparenting’s article, When Your Child Makes You Want To Scream: 10 Steps to Calm. If you have other great ideas to get kids to calm down, leave them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!