Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why Trauma Parents Burn Out

Why do trauma parents burn out? Is it because our children have a history of trauma and tend to Save Their Worst Behavior For Their Parents? Is it because the parents haven't Resolved Their Own TraumaWhile both of those things certainly affect us, I think the real reason many parent's burn out is because we are trying so hard.

Due to their past trauma, many of our children lie, cheat, steal and manipulate to protect themselves. We know that these method's of dealing with conflict and stress will become less and less acceptable as they grow older. 

So what do we do? We pour our whole heart and mind into helping our children heal. After all, we want them to have the privileges that go along with being responsible adults and we can clearly see the path they are on, is not conducive to such an end. 

Another therapy? Sure, even if insurance doesn't cover the cost. Even if it means the parent loses out on his one evening of quiet time a week. After all, we are doing this for our child and no price is too high to pay.

Another medication? Of course, even if it means you have to research and learn all the side affects your child may experience because of his particular needs. You dare not forget you are your child's advocate.

Keep your child by your side? You are willing to do so if might lead to a better relationship with your child. Never mind that if your child has an attachment disorder he will be angry and manipulate situation's to make it appear as though you are being unfair and unreasonable for requiring him to stay with you. If it helps him, you willingly keep him with you, no matter the price you have to pay.

Special Diet? Sure, even if it means spending hours researching and then still more hours in the kitchen cooking foods your child can eat.

Home School? If it means your child is more stable and secure, of course! Even if doing so means you never get a break, you are up for the challenge if it will help your child.

Another Psych Evaluation? If it will give answer's into why our child behave's negatively, we are willing to hand over several hundred dollar's. You cling to the thought that maybe this will provide the missing piece your child needs to continue healing.

Residential Treatment Center? If that is what my child need's to begin healing, absolutely! Even if it means traveling long hours for visits which cut back on family time or personal down time.

Guess who is supplying all the mental and emotional energy to provide all these things? The parents! What happens when these things aren't enough? They go back to the drawing board and arrange numbers, schedule's and research other options trying to find something, anything that will help their child. 

This scenario is repeated a multitude of time's, even this wouldn't be so difficult if the parents had support.

But they face doctor's who either don't believe it is as bad as the parents makes it sound, have no idea how to help, or are unable or unwilling to take the time and energy needed to figure out what is at the root of the child's issue's.

The therapist says, "Love him more, love cures all ill's."

People say, "Try this, it worked for a friend of mine." Or, "I told you this would happen if you don't give your child consequences."

And since you really, really want your child to succeed, you try things, even when you know they are futile. Because if/when your child get's into really hot water, you want to know you did your best no matter what the cost.

...and this is why trauma parents burn out. We are trying to do everything we can so our child has the best chance at healing and thriving, without ensuring we have the necessary support's in place to catch us when we become weary.

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  1. I have experienced most of these things you mention in this blog. We have 3 bio sons and adopted 2 siblings from Russia when they were 5 and 10. Both of them have challenged our parenting skills. We adopted because we felt we were good parents and our 3 sons were relatively easy. I now have sympathy for parents who struggle with their kids, because we have struggled and we are good parents. Most think that if your kids swear, act out, etc., then they must have terrible parents. Sometimes true...but definitely not always. I don't share our troubles with others because I have heard the comments on how we brought this onto ourselves by adopting them. I have heard parenting advice, like- Have you tried grounding her/him? Ha, really...never thought of doing that.
    Anyways, it is nice to hear from others like ourselves and know we aren't exaggerating. We've actually gotten through the worst of things and are now experiencing some light at the end of the tunnel. Hoping the best for you too!

    Debbie Mumm

  2. Adopting children with challenging behavior has a way of making us less judgmental of other parents who are struggling! Yes, typical parenting technique's do not work for our children, although if I am honest, in my weak moments I sometimes fall back on those methods. I am always brought back to the realization that this does not work! Blessings!

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