Friday, September 10, 2010

The Sugar Highs and Lows

The subject of screaming and tantrums has come up before within this blog, especially where TD is concerned.  At first we chalked it up to the Terrible Two's followed by the Troublesome Three's, which everyone declared was way worse than anything we had ever witnessed before.  Right.  It seems that the "F*ck You! Fours" (described quite adequately by a girlfriend of mine) are really what it was all about this past year. 

We tried everything we could think of to rid our home of the yelling and tantrums and absolute hysterical meltdowns that occurred and went on and on and on and on and on.  There were time outs. We took away toys and other privileges, including play dates with friends.  We read and practiced '1,2,3 Magic' too.  We spoke to her pre-school teachers and found out that this behavior isn't exhibited at school. We spoke to her friends parents and found more of the same.  "She's an angel!" they would proclaim.  Huh.  Then how come when she gets home its a case of 'Bizarro TD'?

Then I had an idea.  This summer has brought on a lot of trips, special outings, parties and more.  The amount of sugar that has been pumped into this kid can sometimes reach stratospheric levels without us even being around.  Birthday cake here.  Juice boxes and cookies there.  Suddenly, we have days of insane behavior that no one can control.  We were feeling desperate again and wondering if she might have behavioral problems.  Last Saturday I took it upon myself to experiment with her body chemistry. I informed my mother and H what I had in mind and we all agreed to band together to see if this "test" would work.

No juice.  No desserts.  Only fruit as her form of sugar and anything else is given sparingly.  Really sparingly, if at all.  I don't care what other kids are eating at play dates. She can't have them.  It's milk or water all day.  We haven't baked at all this week and the goodies that people are still bringing to our home with our prepared meals are not being given to her.  It kills me to do this as we don't even have that much sugar in our house for the kids.  We don't give snacks that are processed and pre-made.  Still it was not enough.  She was getting sugar elsewhere and there were too many treats. It was literally driving her crazy and us as well.

Now, on day seven of the "no sugar" TD regime I have noticed a marked change in my child's attitude and conduct.  The drop in the number of time-outs and meltdowns is noticeable and she is downright pleasant a majority of the time.  I don't know how long this will hold, but if we attend some suped-up sugary party in the near future and she has a freak out again I can almost guarantee it is from a sugar high (I don't care what studies show there is a link with sugar and behavior) and then inevitable crashing low.


  1. It might help to also pay attention to food dyes. They're in things you wouldn't even realize! And also making sure she's getting protein throughout the day. Those have been biggies here, to help keep everyone sane.

  2. kristen10:49 AM

    Hear! Hear!

    You know how I feel about this. Those studies don't see my kids after the cupcake.

    I moved to one homemade cookie with lunch at school. So far he has finished his lunch every single day. Probably because he has never had a treat after his lunch at home. HA! Glad to hear girlfriend has come down from her ledge.

  3. This is very assvicey but I suggest you look at food dye as well. Michael's behavior changed dramatically when we cut food dye out of his diet. Read "the unhealthy truth."

    Soapbox over.

  4. Mary R.8:50 PM

    We did this experiment with lauren since she was in HORRIBLE moods after having cupcakes, etc at school in the mornings. She is definitely affected by sugar and it throws the entire rest of the day into a tailspin for both of us. No sugar for her unless its a special occasion and after dinner only.


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