This is also a time when there may be more sweet foods around. Realizing that sugary foods or beverages eaten on an empty stomach instead of healthy foods (including enough protein) will result in a crabby and possibly hyperactive child.
Making sure your child has enough time for a good breakfast can make a remarkable difference. A relaxed and healthy breakfast can reduce cravings for "junk food" throughout the day. Additional Hungers
In creating happy holidays it is helpful to realize that the
brain also has hungers for structure, recognition, and stimulation.Structure
Children prefer the structure and routine that feels comforting and calming when they can anticipate what is going to be happening in their lives. When the brain feels the security of predictability this leads to increased cooperation. A familiar routine decreases anxiety and stress for both adults and children. Recognition
A child wants your attention and recognition. Attention helps a child know they are valued and important. Children ideally want recognition for positive behaviors. However, if good behavior doesn't get attention, a child will resort to negative behaviors to get the need met. During the busy holiday time it is easy to have your attention on many other things. But, if you take the time to recognize your child's need for your attention, things are likely to go much smoother. Stimulation
The brain likes stimulation. It is curious and likes novelty. Lack of stimulation feels like stress to the brain. When adults have to waiting for an appointment or are standing in line, etc. we find something to read or something to do. Children's brains do the same thing. A child will create an incident to stimulate their brain. This may also include the need to have physical activity. Some adult focused activities during the holidays may not be stimulating to a child's brain. Keeping this in mind and providing child focused activities will keep a child stimulated in positive ways.
Using this information will lead to strengthening the higher functioning areas of the brain. Feeding the brain's hungers will contribute to more loving, caring, sharing, fun, laughter, hugs and smiles. All of what the holidays are meant to be about.
The brain remembers best when feeling positive emotions.
Enjoy your time together creating memories of a wonderful holiday season!
(For brain stimulating activity ideas for the holidays watch for posts on Early Childhood Brain Insights Blog
)For further information read:Nutritional Deficit Disorderhttp://nymetroparents.com/printcolumn.cfm?id=9839
If you are aware of additional articles on this topic that others can benefit from please forward them to me
and I will share with braininsights readers!