Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trauma Tantrums

I feel the need to coin a new term.

Trauma Tantrum.

Now, let's talk about what that is.

Everyone knows what a tantrum is.  We've all seen them.  We've all had kids have them.

Everyone has read the parenting books and gotten friends and family advice on how to handle the tantrums. We always think the ones our kids are having are the worst, most embarrassing  most exhausting ones possible.

The difference between a tantrum and a trauma tantrum?

Trauma tantrums have no predicable patterns or triggers.
They are destructive.
They are violent.
They involve self harm.
They can last for days.

Yeah, I said days.

When a child is grown in a home of chaos and violence that is their comfort zone.

Sometimes the tantrum ends when the child literally exhausts themselves and physically can't continue it. Often when they wake up, they start up where they left off.

Sometimes the tantrum literally stops in mid-moment ending in an eerie silence and a blank stare. It's spooky. Not gonna lie.

The kids having trauma tantrums aren't brats.

These aren't kids who aren't trying to pull it together and follow the rules and "be good".

These are fetal drug and alcohol kids.
These are abused kids.
These are kids who come from families with mental health histories.

I'm sure I will have more to say later about Trauma Tantrums. Feel free to chime in with your own experiences and definitions of this thing.


Unknown said...

We can pinpoint most tantrums to a trigger but can never explain why one time it is a trigger and the next 15 times it isn't. 99% of the time it is about control. Lack of trust in adults to take care of them. 18 year old trauma tantrums are a sight to behold.

stephseef said...

My son's only swear word when he came to us - he was almost 3 - 'shut up fat boy!!!' Over and over at the top of his lungs until he'd fall asleep saying it.. Rocking, in my arms. Incredible stuff.