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Don't raise a child, raise a responsible adult!

Dear Nana,

I have a preschooler who has been displaying frequent grouchy behavior in the morning. I want to be understanding of his emotional needs but help him to understand appropriate behavior when it comes to effecting the rest of the family. I have had suggestions that I should send him back to his room until he can have a more positive demeanor. What are your thoughts on this?

- Stressed

Dear Stressed,

If this is a morning routine, your child just may not be a morning person. He also may wake low in blood sugar which produces grouchy attitudes. So make sure you give him protein immediately upon arising. (Not carbs like cereal) You can add a carb like toast and jelly to an egg breakfast. The carb brings up the blood sugar fast but the protein is needed to keep it level and not plunge back down. Sending a child to their room is, in my opinion, a poor solution. A time out should be done in the room where you are. The child should sit on a chair with no toys or books for distraction. He should be told what he did wrong and what is the correct response you are looking for. Set a timer for 3 minutes, at his age, and when it rings ask him why he is sitting there and is he ready to have a pleasant attitude. If he can give you a good answer, then require that he apologize to you, then you verbally forgive him, hug it out and he can go. Going to his own room only lets him entertain himself and forget all about the problem that must be resolved. I always said to my very badly ADHD son, "You control yourself or someone else will have to control you". This kind of Time Out worked very well for him and he actually began to sit himself down to gain control as time went by.

Helpful Supplement: You can find a supplement on Amazon or in Walmart called Nerve Tonic by Hylands. These tiny pills dissolve quickly under the tongue, are herbal and not harmful in any way but help to calm the nervous system. They work for upset children and upset mothers. Hylands also makes a pill called Calm that works similarly. One may work better for your son than the other. You could use it just before nap or a couple of times on a very grouchy day to help him bring himself under control. This is only a suggestion that worked for me. You could talk to your pediatrician about this.

Remember, we are not raising children. We are raising responsible adults. So always keep the proper responsibility on him. Also do not consider his opinion too highly. You can give it a hearing but the worth of an opinion is based on the accuracy and breadth of the information it is based on. He hasn't lived long enough to have much base for his opinion therefore it doesn't have great worth yet.

Let me know how these things work for you. We can tweak things together till we get it exactly right for your child. Thanks again for giving me an opportunity to try and help you and your child.

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