Behavior Problems

I am blessed to be in contact with a lot of teachers. I recently spoke with a teacher from northern SD and our conversation turned to a topic that I am very interested in, kid’s health. Nothing makes me more passionate than hearing about kids suffering. This specific conversation was about behavior problems. The teacher relayed to me that 1/3 of her second grade class had behavioral problems. I asked how this compared to when she started teaching several years ago. She relayed to me that when she started teaching maybe 1 student of the approximately 25 students in a class would have an issue. Now there are 7 of 25 students with behavioral problems. Quite an increase.

In 2005, Yale researchers did a nationwide study of roughly 4000 students in 40 states and found that behavior problems were causing preschoolers to be expelled at a rate 3 times higher than that of public schools. These are kids just out of diapers being expelled!

I know you are thinking: “What is a chiropractor doing talking about kids mental health problems?” Kid’s health is a passion of mine. I see a lot of kids with health problems and I love taking care of them because they respond beautifully to what we do. Therefore, I offer my professional opinions and clinical observations on how this happens to kids.

  1. Over loaded with sensory stimulation. A common theme as we evaluate the functional nervous system of these kids is that they are stuck “on” all the time. Increased sympathetic tone (facilitation is the $15 phrase.) I am not giving a diagnosis here. I am giving a perspective. Basically, their nervous system is stuck on (or being facilitated) all the time. Constant stress, TV, games, music, no movement, toxic diet. Their nervous system is constantly on high.
  2. Toxic. Kids these days are consuming “junk” at astronomical rates. A few common examples include: Juice, pop, and energy drinks that are full of sugar to get them going, medications to slow them down, chemicals in food and vaccines. Kids are full of sensory stimulation. Add these chemical stimulations to them and we have even more of a problem.
  3. Emotional needs. I’m a parent and I know children spell “love” as T.I.M.E. Our pursuit of wealth, success, immortality, etc is all too often a way of hiding from our parental role.  Because of these desires, we have an over-stimulated kid with no support. Parents, dads specifically, it is time to step up in your child’s life and make your presence known. I am involved with a men’s group that is listening to Dr. Robert Lewis speak on raising men. He says that all kids need to hear 3 things. “I love you. I am proud of you. You are good at ________.” Dads step up and be the man in their life.
  4. Exacerbation. Be careful how we treat our children. They are mirrors and will reflect back to society the character we build into them now. Degrading talk, snide remarks, hollering and egging them on are all lazy strategies. We need to be on guard and fight against these tendencies.
  5. Spine. This is what I take care of and it is a fact that proper spinal movement is needed for proper brain function. If their spine is not moving properly, anyone will have internal physiologic stress. It’s not painful, so our children cannot explain it. These stresses can include anything from anxiety to “brain fog” and just lack of concentration (among many other problems). Again, this lack of proper spine balance and movement shows up in their behavior. Kids need to move. They need a balanced spine to do so properly. Get them out and moving through running, playing, climbing, swimming, biking, wrestling, and walking. Do these as a family and you will all benefit on multiple levels. There are several professionals in town that can evaluate your child’s spine and provide them with restoration, healing or wellness depending on your child’s needs.

These five areas all add up and create children that are unable to cope with stress, unable to adapt to increasing levels of stress in a school setting or in relationships or on a physical level. Address this NOW while you can. If you have questions for the doctor, would like help or want to meet for a complimentary consultation, contact Severtson Spinal Care at (605) 428-4778.  You can also visit us at

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