Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Last night I slept horribly. I had dreams and nightmares about E. I felt like my brain would not shut off and all I could think about was how we need to start getting him help.
His group's website had a checklist on their site that caught my eye.
Circle the items if they are frequently or often true.
- My child acts cute or charms others to get others to do what my child wants.
- My child often does not make eye contact when adults want to make eye contract with my child.
- My child is overly friendly with strangers.
- My child pushes me away or becomes stiff when I try to hug, unless my child wants something from me.
- My child argues for long periods of time, often about ridiculous things.
- My child has a tremendous need to have control over everything, becoming very upset if things don't go my child's way.
- My child acts amazingly innocent, or pretends that things aren't that bad when caught doing something wrong.
- My child does very dangerous things, ignoring that my child may be hurt.
- My child deliberately breaks or ruins things.
- My child doesn't seem to feel age-appropriate guilt when my child does something wrong.
- My child teases, hurts, or is cruel to other children.
- My child seems unable to stop from doing things on impulse.
- My child steals, or shows up with things that belong to others with unusual or suspicious reasons for how my child got these things.
- My child demands things, instead of asking for them.
- My child doesn't seem to learn from mistakes and misbehavior (no matter what the consequence, the child continues the behavior).
- My child tries to get sympathy from others by telling them that I abuse, don't feed, or don't provide the basic life necessities.
- My child "shakes off" pain when hurt, refusing to let anyone provide comfort.
- My child likes to sneak things without permission, even though my child could have had these things if my child had asked.
- My child lies, often about obvious or ridiculous things, or when it would have been easier to tell the truth.
- My child is very bossy with other children and adults.
- My child hoards or sneaks food, or has other unusual eating habits (eats paper, raw flour, package mixes, baker's chocolate, etc.
- My child can't keep friends for more than a week.
- My child throws temper tantrums that last for hours.
- My child chatters non-stop, asks repeated questions about things that make no sense, mutters, or is hard to understand when talking.
- My child is accident-prone (gets hurt a lot), or complains a lot about every little ache and pain (needs constant band aids).
- My child teases, hurts, or is cruel to animals.
- My child doesn't do as well in school as my child could with even a little more effort.
- My child has set fires, or is preoccupied with fire.
- My child prefers to watch violent cartoons and/or TV shows or horror movie (regardless of whether or not you allow your child to do this).
- My child was abused/neglected during the first year of life, or had several changes of primary caretaker during the first several years of life.
- My child was in an orphanage for more than the first year of life.
- My child was adopted after the age of eighteen months.
If you find that more than a few items (more than five or so) have been circled, your child may be experiencing difficulties that require professional assistance. If, in addition to several items being marked, any of the last three items is check, your child may be experiencing attachment related problems.
Sadly, I circled 22 items on this list.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
It really is a big deal! These children often have damaged and delayed development of the brain, due to early trauma, such as abuse, separation from the mother, not having their needs meet, and being left to cry for long periods, day after day. It is essential that they have the pieces in place necessary to give the brain optimum opportunity to heal.
• Time spent on these activities prevents the brain from healing
• Interrupts the normal thinking patterns
• Time spent out of reality
• Subtracts from time child spends doing healing activities
• Reinforces twisted thinking and behavior
• Eliminates relationship building activities
• Conditions viewer to tolerate more violence and more sexual behavior
• Increases expenses
• Deteriorates self-esteem
The seven to ten second scene changes that most movies and TV programs have, disrupt normal thinking patterns. In some programs, such as the Pokemon movie for children, the changes are actually at four-second intervals. For the brain to heal, the child must spend time thinking, feeling, touching, building, creating, designing, etc. Being in a "ozone state" completely out of touch with reality, for one hour is one less hour that the brain is moving forward in its progress.
The programs and games, themselves, have highly destructive elements to moral character building. These children who know right from wrong often and intentionally choose wrong repeatedly. The theme of many TV shows and movies conditions viewers to tolerate higher levels of violence, sexual behavior and disrespect. Even the commercials often depict parents as ignorant and the child having to tell them what the proper kind of breakfast food should be.
Children with emotional problems that have trust issues with adults often see the adults as inept, powerless and clueless; reinforcing these concepts is counterproductive.
The fourteen hours a day that we are given to help each child, must not be squandered. I see each minute, as a priceless opportunity. To waste them on destructive activities is unconscionable. The brain requires eye contact with a loving caregiver. The aforementioned destructive activities eliminate this. The brain and nervous system in order to heal must have touch. Loving touch and interactive play activity are not a part of watching TV or movies. The "zoning out" in front of the tube eliminates movement, smiles, and normal relationship activities. Some parents feel the TV is an inexpensive babysitter or a distraction to "keep the kid busy" so the parent can work or rest. I believe the time a child spends sitting and staring at the screen is incredibly expensive in the long run. Costs need to be observed in several areas. The cost to the parents is in the form of more therapy needed. While the cost to the child is in the form of more of their childhood lost, whereas, the cost to society is yet another member with delays in work ethic, relationship skills and/or moral character.
When I begin the therapeutic parenting program with a child I plan on not having the child watch TV, movies, play computer or video games for one solid year. I prefer toys that increase creativity, problem solving, cause and effect thinking, tactile stimulation, and focus. My favorite is a bucket of Legos. They make big ones for little hands all the way up to motorized for teens. Incredible creations the children build can be used as a centerpiece on your table at meals. To build self-esteem, I also like to have the child hold their creation while I photograph them. The act of photographing the child’s project in itself says "what you did is important." The follow up of showing the photos to friends and relatives and putting them on your refrigerator further builds the child’s belief in their abilities and value. Action video and computer games are very helpful for a child planning a military career, the increase in the trigger finger speed can be helpful in a real life battle situation.
It’s been over twenty years since we eliminated television from our home life. I find our children reading more, talking more and interacting more. Why not unplug the tube and plug into your child’s life!
Monday, June 13, 2011
How can I tell if some of the behavior we experience with E. is related to trauma/attachment issues or simply a learning delay or disability? If it is defiance or normal childhood ignorance?