Just like regular mums I thought I was feeding my children healthy nutritious food that would help them grow and thrive. In fact I was feeding them the kinds of foods I grew up on and well didn't I grow up fit and healthy?
However, I was wrong. My five year old daughter was floundering. She didn't have the relaxed happy go nature of her older brother, in fact quite the opposite. Interest in books and reading did not come naturally and her defiant attitude had us all in a spin.
Think, does this sound familiar in your household with one of your children? Firstly they are hard to rouse in the morning. In fact if you let them, they would sleep to lunchtime! When they do wake they’re grumpy and grizzly, argue about breakfast, school uniform, hair brushing and then it only goes downhill from there.
Tummy aches after meals, short tempers and tears over nothing. Then there’s the anxiety over new situations and sibling squabbles, and the inevitable fight to get them to bed at night.
Physically my daughter displayed itchy, pale skin, had dark circles under her eyes and a general lethargy. I've since read some people explaining it as having a fog over their brain.
My daughter had started primary school and it wasn't the stellar start to academia that we were hoping for. She had little interest in books and scared of things like school plays and sports. It was baffling as her overall attitude to school was excellent and when she wasn't acting like a three year old she was the most intelligent, insightful, kind little girl you could hope to meet. So why did we still need time outs and reward lists?
The impetus to seek answers for this behavior came because of two events. Easter school holidays were approaching and I was secretly thinking there was no way I could go through another school break like the one we had at Christmas, someone wasn't going to make it out the other side alive!
The second event was the most worrying of all. It occurred when my 5 year old precious child announced to me while she was having a particularly low moment that she wanted to die! I was horrified, it’s surely not normal for a 5 year old to be depressed and suicidal.
My first step was to take her to a GP and ensure there wasn't a medical reason for her tiredness, as I thought this was the reason for the cranky behavior. Her iron levels were tested but all was fine. I changed her shower gel to soap free and started making my own washing powder to ease the itchy skin symptoms, but there was no change.
My next thought was that we would have to see a Paediatrician to discuss behavioural issues. But before we did this there was one more route I wanted to attempt, diet changes.
I remembered a mother from playgroup that had changed the diet of her 2 year old son. She was the kind of mother who never got to sit still because she always had to run around after him.
In only two weeks this little boy went from a child who never sat still, wasn’t talking and generally destructive to a pleasant little boy. He was able to sit still and play with others, started speaking and looked you in the face when you spoke to him.
So what had his mother done? She had changed his diet and limited his T.V. screen time after reading the website www.fedup.com.au by a lady named Sue Dengate. After a brief look I realized this was definitely for us.
The testimonials were like a hidden camera had been placed in our house. After reading the site through we decided to make some changes in our home and it was easier than you would have thought. Believe me if it wasn't easy I wouldn't have done it. I’m pretty lazy like that.
And if I hadn't seen the changes immediately I wouldn't have persevered. Just like when you start a weight loss diet, it’s easy to lose heart if you don’t see results immediately.
So, if we could do it, you can do it too. Does any of this sound familiar? Tell us about through the Your Stories page or comment below. I'd love to know what your doing to cut the chemicals in your child's life.