Candy season is upon us starting with Halloween and continuing into New Year. Moderation is important as sugar and simple sugars also known as carbohydrates can change mood, behavior control and ability to sleep.
Sugar works in the brain by creating a rush of good feeling, release important chemicals that can cause the person to feel good and then be overwhelmed depending on the amount of sugar intake.
Excess sugar intake can cause behavioral problems, moodiness, tantrums, impulse control problems and sleep disturbance in children that may have mental health problems such as ADHD, ODD and Bipolar.
Things you can do to help your child manage through the upcoming Candy frenzy, Halloween is:
· Control portion size. Opt for one or two pieces of candy at a time. It will allow the body to process the sugar with minimal negative reactions.
· Dilute fruit juices
· No candy before bedtime as dessert
Parents can help the child with understanding and watch for behavior changes related to candy and sugar, understanding the reactions and changes are chemical and will dissipate relatively shortly.
Preparing for the possibility of candy overdose is the best choice and can help the family handle the behaviors with relationship building responses.
· Have patience and understand the reaction is not purposeful
· In public places like trick or treating, Halloween parties, create a signal that allows the child to calm down and manage behaviors. The signal is set up before hand and is not a punishment but a support and is provided as such
· Find quiet time out place to take a breather and sit with them, talk or sit quietly to relax. Then continue the fun
If you find this helpful and would like more information about behavior modification and/or need assistance with figuring out whether or not your child has symptoms, Contact Judy Steele at 941-391-1067 to make an appointment with a counselor at Southwest Florida Counseling Center.