I hesitated writing this article. The topic is truly subjective in nature. For obvious reasons, there is a great deal of weight to the question of whether or not someone should seek help for their family. If I am correct in my thinking and you are grappling with the answer then my thought is you already have your answer. Chances are you have been debating for months or even years before clicking on the title of this headline. So, I ask you. What is holding you back from making the next step?
I’m no scientist but I am going to take a leap and say your brain is attached to the rest of your body. Crazy, I know. Now, I am really going to go out on a limb and say that the brain is a vital organ we ignore, better yet, shun. If our brain isn’t functioning; let’s say, up to par; we simply write it off. We dismiss illnesses of the brain. We shame the poor health of the brain. We take a diagnosis of the brain and we call it, “crazy.”
Last time I checked, no one called an illness of the heart, “psycho.” No on one has ever labeled an illness of the pancreas as “nutso.” In this day and age, most people, mildly agree to the notion that the way they live and the foods they eat influence their health. But not if that health is above the neckline. Nope, that is where we stop dead in our tracks.
I know I am stating the obvious. Parenting has exhilarating highs and bone crushing lows. And just when you think you might have a clue as to what you are doing; reality takes one look at you and gives a nice, big, bellowing laugh.
I am a morning person. I wake up most mornings around 5:30 am feeling energized and excited about the day. I happily make my way down the stairs and start to make my obligatory cup of hot green tea. I envision how the day is going to play out as I gather the food for breakfast. I think to myself, “today is going to be the day I nail this parenting thing!” I start to heat the oven and prepare my favorite meal of the day. I can’t wait to eat! “Really, today is going to be awesome,” I am telling myself. And then my children wake up.
If there is one whole food most children love; it is eggs. For good reason, they are delicious. What you may not know is how nutrient packed these little gems are. Eggs contain vitamins B6, B9, and B12. Without these essential vitamins, your child’s brain begins to feel agitated and sad. He/she may have trouble focusing while feeling lethargic throughout the day.
Good news! No, great news! Anxiety won’t kill you! Bad news! It just feels like it will. Anxiety can rear its ugly head in countless ways. Your child may frequently complain of stomachaches, headaches, and dizziness. They may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Little Susie may grab her chest and cry that she feels short of breath. Her heart may feel like it’s racing. Her body drenched in sweat may begin to shiver as she experiences a sudden onset of chills and you as a parent may be at a loss as to what to do.
Hangry? Yes. Hangry! The term that so clearly defines your child’s expression of their innermost demons brought forth from a deep, dark cave of insatiable hunger. You know the feeling yourself. It’s 3:00 p.m. and your kids are arguing in the car. You realize you have to gear yourself up for homework, making dinner and after school activities and a feeling of hanger starts to creep up into the driver’s seat. Suddenly, you open your mouth and you sound like Darth Vader, “Kids…I am your MOTHAAA!!!”
Does your child only eat chicken nuggets, spaghetti and chocolate syrup with a dash of milk? If so, you are probably overwhelmed with where to begin. So let’s make it simple:
I am sitting here on my couch eating my daughter’s leftover chocolate birthday cake pondering where to start with my blog. You are right; “leftover” does imply that this is, in fact, day two of the aforementioned cake. As I devour each layer covered in butter cream, I realize I should start in the simplest of places…start with the truth. And so it goes, here is my truth. I am eating chocolate cake (Thank you, Whole Foods!) while brainstorming ideas on healthy eating for the sake of children’s mental health.
The beginning of any step towards self-improvement begins with the truth; always the truth. There is no magic wand or magic pill for that matter. There is no shiny secret key that will unlock the door to stellar mental health for yourself or your family. We all have a choice in which path to take. So choose your path with great intention and start one step at a time and don’t forget to bring along your truth.