I want to document this journey for others who may be going through similar situations. This is our introduction and first few weeks doing the program at home. I wrote in a previous post about our decision to start our son on the Brain Balance program. I am excited and hopeful to finally have some answers, but truth be told…I’m terrified.
After leaving the assessment with our son, he flipped out about not wanting to ever go back to that place. He screamed that he didn’t want to go again. At the time, we hadn’t decided if we would do the program or not, but I didn’t want to lie to him, so I told him that we may be going back sometime. He spent the whole ride home in an angry, entitled fit. He wouldn’t get out of the car when we got home until I told him that we would never go back. So to say we were hesitant to tell him that we had signed up was an understatement.
Getting him on board
My husband and I sat down and got a game plan together about how we were going to “break the news” to him. He’s been pretty focused on being able to do push-ups and sit-ups, so we took that angle as our introduction.
“You know how you really want your muscles to grow, so you’ve been doing push-ups and sit-ups? Well, we are going to be doing the same thing with your brain. One side is stronger, so we want to work the other side to make it just as strong as the other.”
This approach seemed to work well. He wants to get “better” and we emphasized why we were doing it so that he could get better at reading, his anxiety would lift and he’d have more self-confidence. I may be jumping the gun, but after a week, I feel like all of those things have gotten better.
Labor Day 2017 – We decided to introduce the exercises on the weekend so that we’d all have time to learn and adjust to them without the added stress of other activities and responsibilities. The. first. day. was. awful!!! He really did not want to do the exercises and kept asking why we had to do these things. The anxiety was in full blow release as he resisted even getting started.
Finally I said for every minute he delays, he will lose a minute of screen time.
This got him going. He did not like it, but eventually (about an hour in) he laughed about something and finished the rest of the exercises without complaint. It took a total of 1.5 hours to finish 1 set of exercises. I didn’t know how we were going to fit 3x day.
The following days have been great, he’s been cooperative and fast. The next time took 30 minutes Last night I think was a record at 20 minutes. We still haven’t worked our way up to 2 times a day. I was hoping to, but I just feel bad for the kid not having down time. I’m hoping we’ll eventually get there.
Like I said earlier…I don’t want to jump the gun, but I feel like parts of it are already working. He is much more “easy going” than I’ve ever seen him. Gets over his meltdowns much quicker and does his work without complaining. It’s only been two weeks, but I’m grateful for any progress, no matter where it comes from.
*update – three weeks into doing exercises and they have become quicker and easier. He likes getting stronger, so that’s a great motivator.
The next phase I’m trying to work on it food. Gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free (GFDFSF) is the diet we need to incorporate. I want to phase things in/out, but it’s a ton of work, and I’m not having much luck. We have cleaned up a lot of processed food over the past few years, but not as much with the kids. They still eat a ton of “kid” food. And when I’ve tried to incorporate “new” food, it has never gone well.
The feeling of needing to be really organized, to get it all together is stopping me from starting because I have these previous beliefs that I have to have it perfect or I’m tying the outcome (kids not eating before) to what can happen in the future. I will continue to work.
A great thing about this work is the center and several parents have talked about their picky eaters becoming much better at trying new foods with this work. Their olfactory center is under developed or over sensitive, so they stick with “safe” foods (chicken nuggets, pizza, corn dogs, fries, etc). I’m looking forward to seeing results in this area!
Brain Balance’s membership website is also invaluable. There are videos, recipes, how-to’s and encouragement. I used it at the beginning for the tutorials of how to get started and the videos of tips and tricks. I use it mostly now for recipe suggestions. It has been a great resource to have.
In addition to the website resources, Brain Balance has an amazing community on Facebook of other parents that are going through the program or have graduated. It is such a tremendous resource for parents. I’ve read story after story about other kids who are having amazing success. There is also a nutritionist on the forum answering questions about what’s acceptable on the GFDFSF diet. I can’t even tell you how encouraging it is to have other families going through similar experiences and being able to ask questions. Priceless.
We will have 3 months of this routine before we start going to the center. I will continue our journey as we start going to the center and start seeing changes.