Sometimes I used to look at my son Shawn and ask: who is this little monster I gave birth to? Of course I did love him, but he was an absolute terror. If "terrible 2" had a dictionary definition, Shawn's picture would definately be there.
He wouldn't let anybody come near him. Sometimes, when his grandparents, aunts and uncles came into our home on a weekend, Shawn would let out this terrible yell and hide behind chairs or behind my legs. He wailed at people's kisses and even touches.
I felt somewhat embarrassed by his behavior since I simply could not control it. I felt as if I looked like a bad mother in the eyes of my parents, who prided themselves on raising us with great order and discipline.
His interactions with other kids was not much better. He would not smile or share. He claimed ownership over toys that were his own and in the end, we had to take other kids' toys from him, resulting in bad tantrums and upset kids.
Shawn was also very overprotective of me. Every time my husband gave me a kiss, Shawn would yell and try to pummel his father's shins. If only he knew that's how he got here in the first place! He would not let me out of his sight and experienced severe separation anxiety whenever I dropped him off at daycare or anywhere else for that matter. I could not go to the supermarket without a fit. I even had to go to the bathroom with the door slightly ajar, to reassure him that I wasn't going to disappear.
When I took him to see a physician, he wanted to write a prescription for him. I decided to get a second opinion and took him to a child psychiatrist, who asked me if I had ever heard of fish oil.
I immediately thought of Dr. Barry Sears, who I had heard much about for his medical breakthroughs. But I always associated fish oil with a healthy heart and not with a healthy brain. I did not even know that it would be of benefit to kids.
I went online that day and bought fish oil in the liquid form, much easier to disguise than a capsule. When I got the oil a few days later and tried it, I was very impressed. It did not have much of a taste at all, yet it did leave behind a slight aftertaste that could be undesirable for a child.
The next day I gave Shawn a spoonful of honey and mixed it with the fish oil and he did not know the difference. I have been giving him the fish oil every single morning since then.
The change in Shawn has been truly amazing. He really is a completely different kid. Instead of running away from his family, he is instead chasing them around the house, pretending to be one of the mystical monsters of his imagination. He is still on the shy side, but he is more at peace.
He manages a smile at strangers in restaurants sometimes now and plays with other kids at birthday parties. He has actually become quite affectionate with his cousins-gives them big hugs and kisses.
Instead of throwing tantrums at the family's arrival, he does not want them to go. Even now, about 8 months since the day he had his first spoonful of fish oil, I look at my Shawn and can't believe that this is the wonderful child who was hiding beneath all of that anger. Where did that all come from? I find myself not even taking a single smile for granted. Each of his smiles is a special occasion.
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