Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Whatever You Do...Don't Give her Sugar!

The other day, my daughter had a playdate with a friend from her preschool days. First, they had a water balloon fight in my backyard. The girls had great fun taking turns filling the balloons with water and throwing them at each other. It was my job to knot the balloons and make sure the water spigot was turned off and on properly. Unfortunately, I think I got the wettest somehow (mental note...next time, wear a bathing suit).

After the water balloon fight, the behaviorist came over to watch me run the playdate and to coach me when needed. Since we're losing the behaviorist services soon, all the effort is now on me and the job I'm doing.

The playdate was going pretty well. In general, these two girls play well together. Then snack-time came. As I opened my pantry to see what I had to offer the girls, my daughter's friend peeked in and immediately noticed my hidden stash of chocolate. "I want what's in that bag!" she announced. "I'm sorry!" I replied, "But that's for special occasions only." Yeah, like when I'm having a meltdown every day! I can't believe that little girl sniffed out chocolate in under a second. She's good.

"Well, can I have those Spongebob Squarepants fruit snacks?" "Sure!" I said, relieved that her eyes were off the chocolate. "But you have to have these crackers too since you need something more substantive in your body!" I gave my daughter the same snack then offered both girls water or lemonade. They both opted for lemonade.

After the snack, the mother of my daughter's friend was coming to pick her up soon. So, I suggested they quickly finished up the game they were playing, then clean up the game. They did quickly finish the game, but then the playdate took a bad turn. My daughter's friend refused to help clean up. She started getting wild, throwing game pieces around. My daughter happily joined in. She loves to mirror what she sees happening around her. I looked at the behaviorist is disbelief and said,"Wow! Maybe I shouldn't have given them a sugary snack!" The behaviorist nodded. Their behavior turned on a dime.

The mother came on time for pickup and asked how things went. I told her they went great until the last twenty minutes or so, after they had their snack. She looked at me and said, "You didn't give my daughter sugar did you? I left you a message warning you not to give her sugar!" I told her I didn't get the message. She told me that she left me the message on Facebook. Okay, normally that is the best way to leave me a message. But I was so busy really engaging the girls that I never had a chance to go online during the playdate. Sure enough after they left, I looked at my Facebook messages. I may be exaggerating a little, but the message went something like, "Whatever you do, don't give my daughter ANY sugar. It makes her hyper." Okay, lesson learned. I'll never make that mistake again. But man, that girl is good at tracking down sugar!

I don't know what I would do if my daughter couldn't handle sugar. It's been such a vital part of her behavior therapy. It's what motivates her to be less rigid, to not tantrum as much. Don't get me wrong, I do try to limit her sugar to a certain degree. But treats do play a part in her life. Because of the way we use treats as motivators, they play an important part in her behavior therapy.

I don't know what I'd do without sugar!

18 comments:

  1. I had Bud off sugar for several years because it made her mean and angry, not to mention very hyper. She was motivated by snacks as well, but these were things like sliced apple with cheese, orange wedges, or dried fruit (with no sugar) such as dates, figs, apricots, or peaches or pears canned in fruit juice (no added sugar), sugar-free peanut butter and jam on crackers... stuff like that. I even got s-free gummies. (The s-free jam was sweetened with fruit juices, not articial sweeteners.) Anyway, just some ideas if some days you want to stay away from sugar for her. :)

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  2. this is hysterical...i can't believe the mom wrote that..it sounds so funny the way she put it. And who cares anyway, if she wanted a healthier snack she should have provided it.

    umm and yeah if my kids have sugar, especially chocolate, its like lighting a stick of dynomite under their buts... i still occassionally give it to them though and I use it as a reward too.

    although, there are numerous reports that sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity....I don't know if I believe that or not.

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  3. I was just going to say - I thought sugar had nothing to do with it?

    My kids might be okay without sugar, but I would DIE without it! I would!

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  4. This reminds me of the 1980s movie Gremlins. Owners of the adorable, cuddly creatures were warned never to get them wet or feed them after midnight. If you did, they turned into little monsters. It appears you had a playdate with a sugar gremlin. Congrats on making it out alive. And for saving the chocolate.

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  5. Kim and Cheryl:

    I think, in general, sugar is fine and doesn't cause hyperactivity. But it affects different people in different ways. I think with this girl, it does! I definitely saw the connection and then the mom came and said she has noticed a connection. Heck, that rumor had to start somewhere, right? I do believe some people are sensitive to sugar.

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  6. Wow, this girl was GOOD at tracking down sugar, probably because she knows she can't have it in her home. I've learned a valuable lesson from this post. If and when it comes time for me to run playdates where my son's friends are dropped off, I think I'll ask the parent about sugar...Lord knows I'm not good at checking my Facebook account, so that wouldn't work. In general I try to avoid too much sugar for my little boy because he loves to eat. (He's already 35 lbs. at age two.) Still, he knows how to track down chocolate a mile away (lol).

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  7. My religious school started offering a snack time a few years back because elementary school kids get ravenously hungry between 4:30 and 6:30. The teachers have begged and begged to make the snacks healthy like offering fruit or a cereal mix w/ no sugar and whole grains. Instead the children get primarily cookies, these disgusting potato sticks (almost entirely made of salt and oil). This is because 1) these are more economical and 2) the kids LOVE them. So I guess we have to either hear the children complain about how hungry they are or see them bouncing off the walls. I also saw the numerous studies saying sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity but who really knows?
    Cheryl, you need a better place to stash your chocolate!

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  8. I try to limit the little ones with sugar. But what usually happens is my teens come home with crazy sweets and next thing I know Jayden is covered in chocolate or cheetos.

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  9. I cant' stop laughing over the gremlins comment.

    I'm glad that none of my kids reacts like that to sugar. Wow.

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  10. Yeah, honestly I don't know what we would do without the bribe (I mean positive reward) of a sugary treat. But, I have seen a few very sensitive kids as well. Funny though that the Mom thought FB would be the best way to tell you something that important!

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  11. Why didn't she just tell you when she dropped her off. Hahha.

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  12. @Lourie and Melissa, that was on my mind too.

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  13. yeah, seems like if it was that important she would have let you know in some other way besides FB. If she's anything like me, she will crash big time after that initial rush...in which case the mother should be thanking you!

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  14. I totally got a mental image of Gremlins (the movie from the 80s). Don't feed them after midnight.

    Sounds like she had a similar reaction.

    I can't imagine no sugar either. I don't buy sweets very often, but when we have them I don't restrict very much. I believe that whatever you tell them they can't have they just want more. And you're just asking for them to go behind your back and do it without permission. Why pick that fight?

    And besides, leftover birthday cake is my favorite thing for breakfast.

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  15. If I didn't want another parent to give my child sugar, I'd tell her face to face. FB? You're kidding me?

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  16. Cut the poor mom some slack guys! She's a friend of mine! Yes, telling me at drop off would have been the perfect thing to do, but she's human and forgot. Considering all the time I spend on the computer, sending the info via facebook is generally not a bad way to go. She didn't get mad at me, and now I know for the future!

    Now, I'm going to go have some chocolate!

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  17. I'm sure that was quite the awkward situation! I love that the little girl makes an effort to get sugar, when I'm sure she knows it's not allowed :)

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  18. I'm glad I read through your comments before commenting because I was just going to say the same thing about letting you know face to face :o) Oh well, these things happen.

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