If you’re the parent of a troubled teen, then you can take heart from the following report of a trial in County Durham, UK.
20 of the most persistently disruptive children (mid teens) were put on a course of fish oil supplements (Omega 3, 6 and 9) for three months.
The youngsters were suffering from moderate to severe ADHD, had short attention spans and were highly impulsive – they were all running the risk of exclusion from school due to their behaviour.
At the end of the trial, the senior educational psychologist, Dr Madeleine Portwood, described the results as ‘stunning’.
Only three of them were classified as severely inattentive and six as highly impulsive.
After 12 weeks, that's 55% of them were out of the 'danger' zone!
The supplement used in this case was ‘eye q smooth’ made by Equazen – another product is known as Efalex.
A similar trial with younger children who were classified with ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ behaviour showed 90% improved to ‘moderate’ or ‘good’ ratings.
Now if you’re raising a teenager, you’ll know that their behaviour and mood swings can affect the whole family.
They’re not happy, you’re not happy, their brothers, sisters, family are all ‘at odds’.
They spend hours in their rooms, because their demeanour upsets everybody else – they argue, fight and moan – you wonder why you’re giving a room to someone who so obviously despises you and everything you stand for.
As a troubled teen, they can’t help their mood swings – it’s a hormonal thing, their brains are undergoing massive changes as they grow into adults.
They want to be treated like adults but behave like children – it’s a problem in families around the world.
You feel like saying 'Move out, while you know everything!'
Now – I’m going to make certain assumptions about this trial, knowing what I know about the UK because I live there.
I would imagine that these teenagers were not all from the very best of backgrounds and that a fair amount of their behaviour would have been ‘learned’ due to their environment – I am also going to assume that the ones who didn’t improve as much as the others were from really disadvantaged backgrounds - their families very likely exhibit challenging behaviour – this is not being judgemental, just realistic.
I am going to further assume, that because you’re reading this, you’re a positive parent who’s looking for a solution – not an excuse – that means to me, that your troubled teen will get support and help from you and your family and your own trial in this will most certainly result in much improved behaviour.
From my own experience as the parent of a teenage boy – if I treat him as an adult, he acts like an adult – give him adult privileges, he lives up to them – and the reverse is true.
I can highly recommend fish oil supplements for a three month period – it worked with my son when he was much younger (about 8 years old) – he became calmer, less volatile and fun to be with – he concentrated better at school and got into much less trouble.
Teenage boys have a fantastic sense of humour – mine was (and still is!) quick, witty and energetic.
During your trial – three to six months is enough – may I suggest that you increase oily fish in your family’s diet – that way, you will all benefit – any younger children may not need this treatment later, your troubled teen will be getting the essential oils from his/her diet after the trial is over and you’ll all benefit from the healthier lifestyle.
These supplements aren’t cheap – the named brands are quite expensive in fact - but when you consider at the extremes of behaviour, a troubled teen can wreck houses, steal from family and siblings, get ‘into trouble’ outside as well, risk exclusion from school with a resulting decline in employability – well – what price a wrecked life?
How do I get my troubled teen to co-operate?
Well – bribery, lies or reasoning?
I’ll cover bribery first – every day they take the supplement, you’ll put a dollar or a pound away – at the end of the trial, they can have the money to spend on a computer game or clothes or something. Try adding another dollar or so for every day that passes without a row - lay down the rules as to what constitutes 'acceptable behaviour' at the beginning.
Lies – it’s to help stop them getting spots ;-)
Reasoning – talk – tell them what happened in the trials, tell them you want that lovely person back in your home – tell them that adult behaviour will result in adult privileges – they won’t be treated like a naughty teenager if they don’t behave like one – they’ll get included in making decisions that affect the family if they show that they can reason and think logically.
I’d love to hear from you if you give this a go – really I would – it would have broken my heart if my son had gone off the rails as a teenager – I feel for every parent of teenagers and so would love to hear positive reports.
Use my contact page and I’ll get straight back to you.
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