Saturday, June 23, 2007

The "Helen Keller" you have brought home

I was just emailing a friend of mine who was telling me about her daughter she just adopted who is about 7 or so. She was saying that she has these tantrums that are so visceral and almost animal like and it can be really hard on everyone. She can't even leave her with her older kids for fear that she might have one of these spin outs when she is not there. She says its getting better but its still so hard. I told her how normal it is and that it also gets better. It really does. And the families whose kids come home and don't do this- does not necessarily mean their children are better adjusted- they have different coping styles and who can say that child who never cries and yells for an hour or two without being consoled won't have major issues as they grow and process all of their losses and grief. Grief is ok and normal and healthy and letting them cry in a safe place is important and as their language skills get better they can talk to you and tell you how they feel. this is what I wrote to her about our experience:

The tantrums are completely normal- she has no other way to say how completely crazy she feels inside- how upset, sad, full of grief, confused she is- Maren actually talks about his tantrums now and says that he was scared and angry (his words). "Like an animal" describes it well and its why its like "Helen Keller". We also could not leave Maddie with Maren- we can now but only for easy, short times- you may remember the first time we tried it (we had been home 5 months) and we had eaten Ethiopian food with Melissa Faye Green and then went to the book signing- I think being around the Ethiopian kids and food might have set him off- we got a frantic call from Maddie- it was terrible she was just crying and sounded scared because Michael was really loosing it. Your daughter needs to get it out and when she can talk better it will help- just like having a toddler (terrible twos) who can't really talk yet so they throw themselves around and have fits. She will get better. I also have the people who comment on Maren's energy level and to me it doesn't seem like its abnormal or too high most times. He also does spend a lot of time just lying on the floor with his cars and playing quietly. But get him in a public or different situation I think he just can't process it as well- this makes sense - if he spent a lot of time alone (which he did) and also if he was never expected to act a certain way in social situations then all of these gatherings must just seem so odd and foreign, because they ARE. I think The Weavers Craft has a lot to say about toddlers- but I think the information is probably useful up to about age 8 or so with some of the behaviors she talks about. It will get better. I promise!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. In fact, we have a 6 yr old who still has not grieved or shown any emotion, and she is completely unattached. So, although she is easy, she has the longest road ahead of her.