April 05, 2011

A new day

I haven't really used this blog for personal posts or soap-boxing.

Today is a new day.

We've had some hard months with our oldest. Discipline issues have been the norm, not the exception. My sweet guy has been angry for months. We've had constant battles, yelling {mine and his}, crying jags {mostly his}, and tantrums, terrible, terrible tantrums. So often I felt like there was a brain fog, clouding his bright eyes . . . I was forever saying, "Earth to Ben", only to receive a scowl or a frown.

Frustrated mommy, inconsolable son. We both felt defeated.

It was time to make changes.

We stopped spanking. It was happening too often, and I felt like Ben was constantly on the receiving end of a "bad kid" message.

We set up a reward chart. This has become a really great way for Ben to see all the things he does well. He is so good at so many things. He's a hard worker, and his work is paying off! Greg gets to be involved in holding Ben accountable as he's the sticker-man. Ben loves telling his dad about the good works he did during the day. The charts are a win-win!

We eliminated dyes in our food. This has CHANGED our lives. This one small change has breathed new life into our day. It's revolutionary. Suddenly our days weren't filled with discipline, but laughter. Ben wasn't struggling through homework, he was grinning ear to ear and getting all the answers right! There was happiness, and it was written all over his face. He was hearing me and listening. We had eye-contact. Communication. I have to confess, we were having fun.

Do your little ones fall apart over insignificant details? Are they angry and upset? Are they physically out of control? Are tantrums the norm? Do you wonder constantly if they're listening to you? Do they have a hard time keeping up at school? Are they out of control? Are play-dates a nightmare?

I stumbled across a blog about three weeks ago. I'm sure her darling blog was somehow linked to one of my favorite design sites. The title was "The Way We Eat". I devoured the information, and emailed Linsey immediately. She was a God-send! Suddenly I knew I hadn't stumbled across anything. God prepared the way, I chose to follow the lead. I read words like "frustrated, moody, impulsive." It was like looking into a mirror.

Dyes are in everything. And they cause serious damage. Asthma, eczema, allergies, cancer, hyperactivity, motor tics. We've discovered them in our kid's toothpaste, gum, cereals, Nutri-grain bars, waffles, pumpkin bread mix, yogurt, frozen fruit pops, and nearly all of our kid's medicines. We're learning that artificial flavoring and petroleum based products {seriously, oil by-products in our food?} are serious behavioral triggers as well.

We're new to this. We're still learning. But we're seeing major results with very little effort.

Yesterday Ben ate one piece of Super Bubble Gum. I knew within about an hour that he'd eaten something with dye in it. I googled the ingredients, there it was, BHT & Artificial Color Red 40. He's still coming down from the awful reaction. I'm praying his food-dye fog lifts soon.

Go visit LLH Designs. And then check out Food Dye Diaries.

You won't believe the information!!! I'm off to do some more research. I already know we're gaining so much more than we're giving up!!

Our new rainbow is heaven-sent. Literally!


  1. Wow!!! Those are big changes, but totally worth it if you can get your sweet little guy back!! Praying for you in your endeavors. My girls just started karate and I am amazed at how they inforce self-discipline, respecting authority and confidence might be something he would love. Addison is all about the belt tips and advances....give that girl a task with a prize at the end and she is all over it!!!!

  2. Okay lady! We MUST get together. Want to meet at a park next week. Too much to say, too little space. You are not alone- we are right there with you!
    Love, T

  3. pretty crazy that I'm reading your blog entry from APRIL, but was catching up on your family a bit and this info amazed me. Sure, I know there are dyes in our food, but never thought anything of it. I'm going to keep an eye on this... I guess eating all of our Northwest Organic tree hugging food probably helps ;) Seattle has been good to us in this way! miss you! Amy


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