Dealing With Difficult Little People (Lunch Foods)
I have always found dealing with difficult people to be, well.....difficult....but especially when dealing with preschool children. These little people are old and smart enough to have control of their minds and bodies, but yet are not really old enough to control their minds or bodies. I see it all the time, no matter what socio-economic status these children come from, there are times when you see the wheels turning. Or the light is on and no one is home. I used to think that the children from poorer families were not as well behaved, but I am quickly discovering that it is not always the case!
Right now I have a class of three year olds. Of the 16 children in my class, there are maybe 3 or 4 that do as they are told the majority of the time. I have several new children in my classroom, and these children are barely three. They are more challenging than the older children, however I find myself anticipating the upcoming class shifting that will occur next week, as separating some of the older children (who refuse to listen) from the younger ones (who would listen if they didn't get the attention for their naughty behavior from the older ones). Needless to say I have a lot of busy, active, and extremely loud preschoolers to contend with daily!
An interesting observation that my co-teachers and I have been making recently is the correlation between the foods the children are eating and their behaviors afterwards. Back in the 70's and early 80's, my younger brother was diagnosed with ADD and Hyperactivity (now the term is ADHD). He was medicated for this condition, and my family had to watch what foods my brother injested. A common culprit of his bad behavior was that obnoxious Red Food Coloring #9. As a parent years later, I discovered that my oldest daughter would act a little more "hyper" at certain times after eating too much food with coloring. So as a parent, I was aware of this link and tried my hardest to keep the foods that effected her the most to a minimum. I am not saying I didn't allow her to eat coloring, I just made sure she wouldn't overdo it. She could handle coloring in moderation, there are some kids that can't handle it at all. The preschool I work at does not offer breakfast or lunch to the children enrolled. The parents are responsible for those meals. Some parents feed their munchkins at home, and others bring food to the school to eat it there. The morning teachers have noticed that some of the foods these kids are eating are chock full of coloring. Pop Tarts, colored cereals, chocolate flavored breakfast foods...what ever happened to good old Cheerio's and Rice Krispies? The children who come in and have eaten those types of foods are the ones who are harder to control. We have also seen this in the afternoons, the kids who have all the Oreo's and cheese puffs and other foods with a lot of coloring have a difficult time settling down in the afternoon, making quiet time a difficult time of the day. (The lack of sleep is another issue that we have seen can effect the behavior of these kiddos, but that is a blog for another day)
I implore parents, please take into consideration the foods you are feeding your child. The chemicals are so strong and these children are growing their minds and bodies. Imagine what those toxins may be doing to your child. They make children distracted, antsy and unable to focus. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD, but how many of them have true ADHD as opposed to those who are suffering from chemical toxicity in their bodies? The parents in my classroom send their kids to school with chips, cookies, puddings, 2 juice boxes and a 1/2 a sandwich. Hello!!! What happened to the fruits and vegetables? Carrot sticks, apples, grapes, celery (with peanut butter or for peanut free schools, cream cheese). These parents are sending more junk foods in the children's lunches than substantial brain and bone developing healthy foods. With back to school coming upon us, please take the lunch selection you make for your child into consideration. Not only for the teachers that have to deal with your child, but because a distracted, difficult-to-redirect child is not learning to his or her fullest potential.