Understanding Trauma

Understanding Traumatic Behavior

boy covering his face while standing
Trauma is like… The spider that scared you three weeks ago but you still look for the spider everyday as if it will reappear once again

Understanding Traumatic Behavior can become complicated at times we see our children’s behaviors as just being terrible 2 or terrible 6 or preteen 11 or teenage 15 and at times we overlook the things that they are affected by in their environments or traumatic things they experience in life that sets them up for the behaviors we all cant ignore.

What is your child really trying to tell you?

When our children cry or talk back or have a tantrum what they really are trying to say is they are lacking some emotional support from you and they don’t really know how to express themselves without anger or outbursts.

What traumatic behavior this article is referring to?

The traumatic behavior that I am referring to is more related to serious trauma Neglect, Abuse( Physical and Mental), this type of trauma usually is more permanent and the behaviors are more extreme. They can include inability to self soothe, anger and rage, anger outbursts over small things, self-harm, uncontrollable screaming crying, aggression towards adults.

How do we help children, and teens with traumatic behaviors?

It is best to seek professional help a trauma therapist will be a good fit to help the child work through it at their own pace. They are especially equip to handle the situations that arise from the therapy sessions. You may not see results right away but you will definitely see some improvement overtime. They can also point you in the direction to additional help if things spiral out of control. Consistency is key for traumatic behaviors as it is needed to help them through the process. Listening to the child without judgement or input helps the child feel validated. Picking behaviors that you would like to work on is key don’t try to fix everything at once some behaviors are deeper than just the child not wanting to cooperate.

Signs of Traumatic Behavior Include:

  • Lack of sleep/Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Weight issues(slow weight gain or overweight)
  • unexplained irritability
  • lack of self control
  • anger or explosive behaviors
  • lack of focus in school
  • hyperactivity
  • sensory sensitivities
  • inability to get along with peers(sometimes not an issue)
  • Stealing/Lying
  • Hiding food or refusing to eat certain foods
  • aggression towards self or others

Where do I go for Help?

  • If you are in danger or behaviors are too much to handle contact the access and crisis line if its a mental health emergency and you need immediate help.
  • Contact your pediatrician
  • Contact a Mental Health Provider such as a Therapist or Psychiatrist
  • Join a support group do not try to deal with it alone it can be stressful and overwhelming for any parent

What are some signs of early childhood trauma?

Some signs of early childhood trauma include disruptive behavior, inability to self soothe, unexplained anger, aggression, withdrawn, sensory issues, problems with weight gain or too much weight, learning issues(focus problems or hyperactivity), Issues falling or staying asleep

How to change your Childs behavior?

There are things that you can try to change your child’s behavior things such as reward charts, behavior bucks, sticker charts, Positive Reinforcement, Time outs/Time ins, Cool downs, Loss of privileges are all things that can help change your child’s behavior remember we want to change the behavior not the child.

What is the impact of trauma on children?

Trauma can affect children’s brains, bodies, behavior, and ways of thinking. Trauma that is continued or left unchanged can often disrupt children’s sense of security, safety, and sense of themselves and alters the way they see and respond to people and situations in their lives. Trauma affects the entire body and cannot be left untreated it is helpful to have trauma therapy to help children deal and cope with the issues they have as a result of trauma.

What is early childhood trauma?

Early childhood trauma refers to adversity experienced in early childhood. This is the most critical developmental period in human life. Most of the brain develops by age 5 so anything that effects development in the first 5 years can have a lasting effect on the brain. Adversity that causes toxic stress and/or trauma experienced in early childhood can lead to a variety of problems in later life.

Leave a Reply