When I started learning self-government principles years ago, I was foster parenting some difficult children, most of whom were on medication and had severe anger issues and terrible eating habits. As I started teaching them self-government skills, many of the children no longer needed their medication. Sometimes the anger issues stopped immediately, but in other children the issues re-surfaced later. With these youth I looked at another aspect of self-government: their diet.
In many cases I noticed the children were addicted to sugar and junk food. Food has a powerful effect on behavior. I literally feel my chemicals change when I eat certain things, so I know food greatly affects the way a person feels and acts. I needed to change the diets of some of the foster children to get them chemically ready to learn self-government.
Some children didn't want to eat because they worried about gaining weight, and others had food hoarding issues and ate too much. In both cases we made healthy eating plans and encouraged nourishing the body. After we adjusted their diets, most of the children were better behaved and more content.
What About Gluten?
I have celiac disease and don’t eat gluten, which is anything with wheat, oats, barley or rye. Over the years. many people have shared testimonials with me about omitting gluten from their diets. Eliminating gluten is another option to help your child be chemically ready to learn self-government. We’re all so chemically different that one diet doesn't necessarily work for everyone.
In recent years, multiple parents have reached out for help with their angry or difficult children. I helped improve their home structures and family communication, but the children weren't able to completely self-govern until their chemicals were fixed. In our modern world of overly processed foods, the main way parents can help children chemically is to remove gluten from their diets. Once gluten is removed, most children feel calm and in control. They’re not as volatile and instead feel secure and happy. Some children even say they think more clearly when they don't eat gluten.
A friend of mine had a hard time concentrating. She enjoyed studying but just couldn't focus. Shortly after removing gluten, she could concentrate like normal, had more energy, and felt more at peace with her body.
I’m not saying that removing gluten is part of teaching self-government. I’m suggesting that some children need more help. If you’re doing all the self-government teaching correctly and your children are still anxious or angry, you may want to adjust their diet.
What About Other Foods?
I’m not a dietician or nutritionist. I only know what works for my family and what I hear from other people. The majority of questions I receive about diet involve gluten and sugar, but other people have sent me findings about dairy products, corn and soy. If you feel your children have a chemical problem, you may want to consider changing their diet before trying medication. It can take some experimentation, but it can be worth it when you find something that improves their mental health.
If you experiment with deleting foods, I try a clean diet of rice, meat, fruits and vegetables for a few weeks and then add one food type at a time and watch the effects. There are a lot of really delicious recipes that don't have processed ingredients. Look around and be creative.