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The limbic alarm is a system is deep inside the brain that is constantly on the lookout for safety or threats, and sends us into fight-or-flight when it senses the latter. If we try to reason with a child when their alarm has been triggered -- get them to see that they are distorting the problem -- they won't be able to process what we're trying to explain. In fact, whatever we're saying to reassure them, no matter how reasonable, can actually be another stress.
None of us are at our best when we're tired or stressed out, especially kids. In fact, much of what we see as "misbehaviour" in kids is actually "stress behaviour" -- the result of being over-stressed, unaware of it and unaware of what to do about it.
I'm sometimes known as the Queen of Quinoa for my healthy eating habits. So you can imagine the shock on a patient's face when I bumped into them at Costco's snack bar where I was face deep in the most delicious beef hot dog, bun oozing with Heinz ketchup, French's mustard and Bick's green relish. Oh, and I was also inhaling a side of fries.