There’s no doubt that reflux has a huge impact on the behaviour of children. I think its fair to say that here at RISA Inc we generally believe that in reflux kids, consistently bad behaviour that doesn’t respond to the usual distraction or discipline is likely related to pain the child is experiencing. Unlike lots of other conditions, because you can’t see the source of the pain, its more difficult to diagnose, but generally tending on the side of sensitivity and cuddles tends to be more effective than sternness (within reason of course).
RISA Inc supports the International Association for the Study of Pain’s Position Statement on Pain in Childhood.
Here’s a couple of quotes you might relate to:
“I doubt very much his behaviour issues are caused by too much mollycoddling! I actually find that [my little boy] responds much better to a more sensitive approach and cuddles when he’s not himself – rather than the stern approach. I have tried both ways and being stern just sets him off more. Cuddles and understanding seems to be appreciated and this works much better.
Sure toddlers have tantrums and it’s normal, but I would classify “normal” as a tantrum that is over with within 10 mins, and some kind of distraction or reasoning usually seems to work. Reflux tantrums are different and don’t resolve and seem to go on and off again all day. No amount of distraction or reasoning works – and cuddles seem to be the only thing that helps.” RISA Mum and volunteer
“My refluxer started hitting me across the face. Out of the blue. And thought it was funny. We implemented a naughty corner for the first time in our lives. She kept at it. Started clawing at my eyes becoming more and more vicious. It took 36 hours and a screaming, arching full blown reflux episode at bed time for me to realise it was because we’d halved her reflux meds two days before. Meds back to regular dosage. No more hitting, gouging etc. Back to normal happy child.” RISA Mum and volunteer