I have a 2 year old daughter. I’ll admit that most of the time it’s easier to give in and give her whatever she wants. Being a “normal, picky” 2 year old, most of the time what she wants to eat is cereal and chocolate milk.
That’s at 2. If I keep giving her what she wants, then she’ll get used to eating like my neice does. As my neice lives with her great-grandparents, she has learned that she can throw a fit and get what she wants. They always have candy, sugar cereals (no better than candy) and juice around. She has been diagnosed with ADD and takes medication for it.
At 8:30 on Halloween, I told my neice and my daughter that they had had enough candy. My sneaky 2 year old had a sucker in her jacket pocket, but it was my neice that I had to watch. She got mad, especially when I confiscated the candy necklace and wouldn’t let her have the candy bracelet she had gotten.
When we went to drop her off, I insisted on carrying the candy inside and handing it to her grandfather myself. We went inside for a few minutes and she started trying to get into her candy. My husband and I both ended up enforcing the no more candy rule. The grandparents were saying no more, but my neice wasn’t listening.
Compare that to this weekend. It being Thanksgiving, I had sweets around — notably Rice Krispie treats and a cookie bar that I haven’t had in years. She did not have her ADD medication, but her behaviour was less like a hyperactive child and more like a child who needed consistancy in her discipline (she got 3 warnings then got a time out — I didn’t start the timer until she stopped the screaming). Well and more like a child that needed to learn to play with others, she kept hogging the toys. Then again, so did my 2 year old.
All this not from cutting out the sugar, but from cutting out the artificial colors and flavors and keeping her away from soda. To the end of the weekend, she was even asking me for Rice Krispies for breakfast even though I had 2 kinds of Captain Crunch.
It may be a small experiment, but that definitely shows me that they may actually be figuring out the cause of this sudden influx of ADD and ADHD.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that some kids actually do have a problem with concentration. From what I’ve seen though, some of it is either they have home problems on their mind (which my neice obviously does when she doesn’t see her mom very much) or too much artificial color and caffeine/soda (which my neice also has). Yet her mom is determined that she wants to keep her on the ADD medication indefinitely, instead of stopping at 2 years like the doctor suggests.
Things that make you go hmmm… It’s so much easier to let the medication parent for us, isn’t it?