How do you help your child past a major trauma?

Nellie - posted on 06/12/2013 ( 102 moms have responded )

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My daughter has been through a major trauma, and it has effected her extremely. She has been regressing, and it seems like nothing I do helps.I have no idea what to do, she'll be turning 3 years old in a few days and she's regressed to when she was a year old. She is getting into mischief with things she fully knows better and has know better for a long time, such as writing on the wall. She hasnt done that in over a year. She's been potty trained since roughly a year old, she potty trained herself, but now every time i discipline her and send her to her room for time-out, she use the washroom on the floor, and not just pee either.She's doing it on purpose, she takes her pants right off and everything, and she only does it when she's mad at me. I have tried cracking down on her, (in a non-violent way of course) that didn't work. So I tried to be supportive, and had conversations with her. Talking to her, explaining to her that it's ok to be upset. That hasn't worked either. One thing I haven't and will NOT try is physical discipline. I don't agree with it and I'm not about to start. I really need help, desperately, but please respects the fact that I'm anti-spanking.

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Greg - posted on 06/18/2013

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Greg Chase of DiapersRus.com and editor in chief of Childabuse.com. Regression is a common way children use to protect themselves from an emotional event they can not understand. Physical discipline is likely to make matters worse. First step, have your child's pediatrician talk with your child, see if there is need for short term child psychiatry to help your daughter first understand and make sense of the trauma you speak of, and then learn how to deal with the trauma, and finally to put this moment in time behind her. Risk factors are high at this crucial time, personality and trust is forming, how your child will respond to emotionally traumatic events in the future will be based on how she learns to deal with this traumatic event. Professional help is strongly encouraged, and recommended before you consider other steps.

Greg Chase
Editor Childabuse.com
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Linda - posted on 06/18/2013

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For a child, a major trauma feels like life is out of control. She probably wants her life to be orderly and controlled. Regression could be her way of trying to find the time her life was in control. When she does things that she knows will get her in trouble, she may be looking for a way to have you in control again, even if she doesn't realize it.
My daughter purposely did some of the things your daughter is doing. We found that any kind of discipline did nothing except cause tension. A therapist gave us some wonderful advice--Give her permission to do the things she is doing (that you don't like) but have her do it the way you want her to. For instance, the bathroom--she isn't big enough to use the toilet so she needs to use the potty chair for a while. Then set up the potty chair for her. If she continues to use the floor, she isn't big enough for the potty chair and needs to go back to diapers.
Writing on the walls--we put up some large paper we got at the newspaper (not printed on) and told her she could create a masterpiece. We had to put it in many places, but that was easier than washing the crayon off the walls. We kept all the crayons/pens/pencils so she had to ask us for them. When she did, we asked her which place she wanted to color and steered her away from books and to the walls. After a while, she didn't want to write on the walls anymore because she didn't get any reaction from us.
We gave her permission to act out within our guidelines. Soon the acting out wasn't giving her what she wanted. We made sure to praise her overmuch when she did things correctly. We told her how big and strong she was to be able to ______(fill in the blank). This really helped us and her; we no longer got upset (which wasn't easy) and just took care of the problem with her helping us. She wanted to be "big enough and strong enough" to do lots of things, but she learned that her actions told us how "big and strong" she was. The phrase "big enough and strong enough" really helped. It told her that she was acting like a baby without us saying negative things to her.
It gave her the ability to decide that she wanted to be "big enough and strong enough" to do fun stuff with us instead of having to be left behind. There weren't potty chairs at the store, so she couldn't go. She couldn't write on the walls at friends houses so she couldn't go. It takes a strong commitment on your part, but it is so effective in teaching a child to make good choices.

Tiffany - posted on 06/18/2013

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You've received a lot of replies and I pray some of them have found you well. My daughter suffered a severe loss at the age of three (currently about to turn 5) and I am an abuse survivor from the age of four. Trauma has been a huge part of my life... unfortunate for me, but fortunate for my daughter that I was able to spot the signs of such a severe reaction. You are already making strides in the right direction by acknowledging the existence of such an important issue. Making the Freudian mistake to study with intent of self-treatment, I spent the greater part of my psychological studies on child psychopathology with the hopes to open a center for abused children. I did a LOT of work with play therapy... and am a HUGE advocate of Sand Therapy. No matter the trauma, the symptoms are the first step... with play therapy... there is a natural unfolding that makes the child feel safe. With trauma at such a young age, there is often a loss of security. All of this being said, different things work for different children, so be open to what works well for her. This is a CRITICAL age. I do not recommend you try to treat this alone. For some reason, I am unable to see exactly what happened to your daughter... or when. I will say, that SOME things just heal with time. SOME times a cool & calm reaction to the bathroom behavior really is the right road to take believe it or not. Don't ignore the issue, but hand her something to clean it up with. "It looks like you made a mess. What do we do with messes? We clean them up!" Then give her a rag (Don't let her see you clean up behind her when she finishes with a naturally sub-par job--this is about taking ownership of your actions-responsibility without a crazy reaction... it shows that you are aware of her... you see she is acting differently & you will respond to that always.) It simply depends on what happened & how long it has been... those two things are KEY to the route you should likely take.
I apologize for not having read all of the responses.... perhaps I am being repetitive; I can only see that as a positive, however. I wish you all of the best.

Dawn - posted on 06/16/2013

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Nellie, I began looking after my Grandson who was also physically assaulted in the most horrendous way. This was discovered and stopped when he was 3 years old. (He is now 6!).
When he arrived at my door he didn't have the verbal ability to describe what had been happening to him, and he has never spoken of it at any time!
Professional advice given at the time was to leave him to talk about things in his own way, not to prompt or encourage talk, because for some this can cause false memories to develop.
For two years he would cuddle up and sob his heart out, if you asked why he was crying he would reply "because I feel sad" . All I could do was cuddle him, while inside my heart was breaking!
He also had behaviour problems, acting out and toileting issues. All you can do is Love them! I promise it will pass. At times I felt so alone and that things would never improve. As I said he is now 6 and has grown into a lovely boy, anyone would be proud of. He still has his moments, but then what 6 year old doesn't.
Keep be consistent, if she urinates or more on the floor just deal with matter of factly, and try to not to compare with what she was like. Unfortunately she is not that well adjusted 2 plus year old anymore and has reverted back to a time when she felt safe and happy. With your care and apparent Love she will get back there! Good Luck, and remember you are not alone.

Kris - posted on 06/18/2013

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Wow Nellie! First off -- Big hugs to you!! I can only imagine how awful this is for you...so hopefully you aren't forgetting to be good to yourself whenever possible. It's emotionally and mentally draining, and it is definitely going to take a toll on every other aspect if life. I tend to agree with other comments, you can't ignore this behavior. However, spanking is certainly not the answer in my opinion. It won't stop this behavior, and it's just demeaning at best. No one ever wins when you have to resort to physical brutality. I think you'd do best to use your calm voice and just explain that if your daughter wets or poops outside of the potty, she is going to be expected to help clean it up. Matter of fact. No judgement one way or the other. Just that if this behavior happens, then there is a response. It isn't an accident If she's doing it intentionally, so don't call it an accident. Show your daughter what to do (helping her of course) and then when it happens, just remind her in your most calm voice...alright honey, you know what needs to happen now. And help her manage the task of cleaning it up. I would definitely take your daughter in to see her pediatrician and get a recommendation for a family therapist. A licensed family counselor will really be able to help work to make sure this is a temporary moment of frustration for your daughter and not something deeper. I know a lot of folks are scared to seek counseling help for fear there child will be thought of as crazy or they worry that somehow they'll need to have help forever. Because your daughter is so young, I think it is important to enlist the help of professionals just to make sure she truly heals from this trauma and it isn't something that is left unresolved for years. Best wishes to you and your family. It sounds like you have your daughter's best interests at heart, and as long as you listen to that mommy intuition, I'm sure you'll find the right answers for you and your daughter. Stay strong and hang in there!! You can do this.

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Marcia - posted on 06/28/2013

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Nellie: have you reach out for help as indicated by several people here? Help meaning: a counselor. a lawyer. The person who abused your toddler needs to be put behind bars. you owe that to your daughter. Also: are you sure the friend with whom you are staying can be trusted around your daughter? Nothing could be more damaging to her than being abused again! Have you been able to move to your new apt? You really need to reach out to all the institutions you can to help you go through this, and more importantly help her go through this horrible trauma. I pray God to help you as many people commenting here, however God is not going to come down from whereever he is and get things done for you. You need to seek help and do all you can for you and your daughter as soon as you can. Your are in the US of A, where things can be tough, but it is a free country, with many institutions and centers where help can be offered. Go knock at every door. You will find a way if you really insist. Good luck to you and please think about your child. She needs you and you are all she has! You decided to bring her to this world, so you are responsible for her and her well being.

Marcia - posted on 06/28/2013

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Amanda Amburgey: are you as stupid as Monika? You women are illiterathe or what? this poor little 3 year old child got ABUSED SEXUALLY for God's sake! stop giving stupid advises. What this mother needs to do is first: be nice, gentle caring, PROTECTIVE to her poor abused little child. Because someone ABUSED her and NO ONE was there to PROTECT HER! GOD DAMN IT! So, who cares if she pees on the floor? It is just a freaking floor! What is important is the life and the future of this poor child!
God: what a bunch of air headed people!

Marcia - posted on 06/28/2013

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Monika: are you stupid or what? DIDN'T YOU READ THE 3 YEAR OLD TODDLER GOT SEXUALLY ABUSED? MEANING A BASTARD RAPED HER? you put your turd in your room!

Melodie - posted on 06/27/2013

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I find that when a child acts out, sometimes they are pushing to see if you will always love them or be with them. That does not rule out discipline, just make sure she knows it is the behavior not her.

Ashley - posted on 06/26/2013

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my 3 year old would purposely pee on floor too... i ignored it.. and gave different attention

Kimi - posted on 06/25/2013

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She should always be in your sight if she's behaving as an infant would so don't lock her in her room for timeouts and remove temptation by baby proofing your home.

Mel - posted on 06/21/2013

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I would strongly suggest that you find out the name of a trusted, known counselor/psychologist to have her looked at and evaluated. Don't let the major trauma in her life take over. I am the mother of 5, (ages 14 down to 8) and currently have my 10 year old daughter receiving treatment for a major trauma in her life a year and a half ago. My understanding is that it is better to not let "issues" go too long without help if needed. A professional who specializes in behavioral issues will have great insight for you to be the parent your child needs as well as directly teaching your child techniques in how to move forward. Best of luck to you and your daughter in moving past this.

Angela - posted on 06/21/2013

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My son(7) had a traumatic experience at school and on the bus. He did not tell me what was going on, until one day he broke down in tears. He had angry outburst, emotional, and pretended to be sick, so he could stay home from school. Since it was at school I got the teacher, bus driver and counselor involved. This gave him a chance to have other people he could trust to go to, when I am not around. I am unsure where and what happened. I do know getting your child other people to trust, like a psychologist could help. Unfortunately children do not always want to open up to us. My son felt like he would get in trouble for not handeling it himself. They see us as someone who will punish them, because they think they did something bad. Since your child is three she does not know how to express what they are feelings the appropriate way yet. I would not spank, it would just make it worse. Children do know what pushes our buttons, test us, and seem to know how we are feeling. You need to be the calm one, show you care, and walk away if you feel yourself getting upset. Walk back when you are both calm, then have a discussion. I would ask why she thinks she is doing that. Use a special item of hers into the talk, like a doll or blanky. Most of all though getting a little extra help would not hurt. Psychologist, books on the subject... I am sorry for you and your daughters pain. Goodluck.

Katie - posted on 06/21/2013

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You need to take her to see a therapist specializing in children's trauma issues. Your job as a parent is to support & love her & seek appropriate resources for her when what you are doing is not helping. This could be a real turning point in her life if it's not handled right. She is telling you with her actions that she needs help & no amount of discipline is going to change that.

Stacy - posted on 06/20/2013

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Nellie, I don't have all the answers for you. I'm not professionally trained at all and most of what I know, I have learned from Dr. Phil, or by talking to friends of mine who have been through certain things. And, I want to share them with you in hopes that you can apply the information to your current situation with your baby. First, let me say that it doesn't matter how clearly your daughter can speak, she CAN understand what is being said to her and she can answer questions. She needs help. She needs to talk to someone who will NOT have an emotional reaction when she tells them what happened to her. And, that person will ask her questions and reassure that her feelings are not weird. If your daughter was sexually abused over a period of time, she began to confuse those interactions with the feelings of love and affection. And, when that all stopped, she again became confused (something I learned by talking to a friend who was molested by her uncle). If your daughter is covered by any kind of medicaid, do what you must do to get her the help she needs, no matter how long it takes. Whether the help comes six months from now or 6 days from now, it is still help that she needs. Please remember that your obligation to help and protect her did not stop when you got her away from the bad person.

Keisha - posted on 06/20/2013

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Your daughter has all the signs of being sexually molested and only by the healings of God can help her heal and much prayer I do believe in spanking because the Lord said in Proverbs 19.18 chasten thy son while there is hope and let not they soul spare for his crying which means don't set your heart on his crying and also proverbs 13:24 he that spareth the rod hateth his son but he that loveth him chasteneth him promptly. But with your daughter she has all the sign of sexual abuse and by spanking her she's not acting out to be bad nor is she doing all those things on purpose she has been traumatized and only much love, compassion and comfort and much tears to God will heal her little soul of her experience I don't know what occurred but I know the sign and there all there so keep her safe so it won't ever happen again and report who ever did it to her. I have you in my prayers.

Wendy - posted on 06/20/2013

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Without knowing what happened originally, it is difficult to recommend anything. My first thought is to ignore the bad behaviour totally. I would approach friends or church members for support and prayer.
Your little daughter is crying out for your love and attention and I'm afraid you may just have to clear up the mess and keep on cuddling her. She is still very little.
I know children who were not potty trained until much older. It is interesting that she has taken off her pants to keep them clean, bless her.
I will be thinking and praying for you. with love, Wendy.

Stacy - posted on 06/19/2013

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It seems as though you have a couple professionals giving you some good advice. I do think that a child psychologist would be in order. It sounds like your baby was put through something awful and regardless of what it was, the worst thing you could do is just let it sit and assume that she will forget about what happened with the passage of time. She is regressing and you should look at that as her means of crying out for help and intervention/attention. She's not even three yrs old yet, so for you to presume that she is crapping on the floor "just to get on your nerves" is ridiculous. Answer her cries for help, and in the meantime, as was suggested, demand that she help you clean up the messes she leaves on the floor. Perhaps make her stand there and hold the trash can while you wipe up the mess, or something like that so she has to stand there and suffer through the smell alongside you.

Tanya - posted on 06/19/2013

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She is 3 go with the flow and spend quality time with her give big hugs for good things and pick ur battles this happens at this'd age she is testing you so be loving and remember she is only 36 months old a toddler is learning put the crayons in time out and redirect try not to focuse on the bad as much as praise the good .. Good luck

Helen - posted on 06/19/2013

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I agree with Wilma: child psychologist right away!! The same thing happened w my boy when his dad died - regressed in way you describe. Finally took him to psychologist and it did him and me the world of good. It took abt e yrs of on and off play therapy. I have realised he needs my full attention - which isn't possible with being a single mom w a demanding job and another little one - and now that I am healing I am able to give hm much more of it. Keep loving her, support her, PRAY forr her and take her to a good child psychologist PLEASE

ShakirinaLIkram - posted on 06/19/2013

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She is, my dear, hardly 3, far too young for a shrink session! I believe she has no other siblings so she is very much the only child getting your full attention! If you have time give her her own corner of the house surrounded by ALL her toys to mess up!
We are not sure of the cause of her trauma but as long as she is not injured or hurt, she will heal from the fear of that trigger factor!
A mother has a bottomless reservoir of love and patience! You may view her as a small adult but You Cannot trat her as one!
Her barain will only be fully developed when she is three and then she has to learn from her environment to hone it!
So do not be like my environment, messy, mayhem and lots of boisterous shouting and biffing, with 1 girl and 3 boys!
I will have to order a Nanny right from UK! Now I just leave the house to my part - time till I cool!

Wilma - posted on 06/19/2013

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Have you tried a professional, such as a physchiatrist? To me, that is of the utmost importance right away! I ended up with my 3 grandchildren and they too had been traumatized before I got them. They had been abused in ways that no human should go through, much less mere babies at less than 10 months, less than 20 months and not even 3 years old! I immediately got them into counseling and (the 2 "older ones") and I have no regrets about that. I was told by the doctors that even when they became adults, they would still have "flash backs", especially when they had a trauma .Now, 22 years later, I can say that they have pretty good lives. The oldest one has recurring problems when she has any "reminders" that happen. I have shared my story with you so you can see how vital it is to have your child under the care of a professional! It is literally her life you are dealing with and your choice can make the difference in what kind of life later on she will have! Please call and get her in to see someone right away! I pray it all works out for you both.

Bright - posted on 06/19/2013

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Do you believe in GOD if yes pray about it and see that the problem will be over in a short period of time

Price - posted on 06/19/2013

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I do agree that physical discipline is out of the question. It only makes matters worse. You did not state why your daughter has been traumatized, but by what you did say, it sounds very serious. When young children go through trauma, they sometimes can't verbalize their feelings the same way older children or adults do. I believe that children can be helped to some degree by reading stories in relation to whatever the incident is. Using two puppets to act out certain sad situations can help too. You can hold both puppets in your hands and have a little conversation about something sad and try to get her involved in the scenario. Then maybe you can do something happy to solve the puppets problem. Then let her hold the puppets to play too.

Play dough can also be something soothing for them. Together you both can do something positive in rolling, cutting, and making stuff with the play dough. You can put plain water in a tub with toys for her to play with. You can color the water with food coloring to make it more interesting for her. Each one of these ideas may help calm the children whenever there is aggressiveness, sadness, or whatever they are feeling at the time. I believe sometimes we as parents get caught up in the negative behavior and through frustration we get lost in not knowing what to do to help them. Believe me, I have been there in different behavioral situations with my children and I know how frustrating it gets.

As far as the potty situation, I would try not to make a big deal out of it because she is reacting in the way she knows how. By reacting to her behavior, it can make it harder for you to deal with. I would calmly help her clean the mess up and just let her know you are not happy that she went potty on the floor and ask her, "How does it smell?" You can ask her other questions to solve the problem and then just try to move on. When she is doing something right, praise her by giving her a high five, giving her a hug, just letting her know she has done a good thing, whether she is sitting down watching TV or she dressed herself. Anything simple that you know she can do well.

When she is getting into mischief, later turn this experience around and ask her if she wants to go on a treasure hunt. Get some of her small toys and place them around the living room in hiding places that she will be able to find them. Think of something different she can do in a positive way.

As time goes on, you may be able to turn her negative behavior into positive experiences. Really, there is no one solution to solve every problem, but you can try to concentrate on the positive behavior and maybe some of the negative behavior will subside. I wish you all the best in hopes that your child will be okay. Patience with our children is sometimes most challenging when they are going through a hard time. Above all, I know you love your child very much and that is the important thing we can give our children. Also, please take time out for just you!

Good Luck :0)

Greg - posted on 06/19/2013

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Ms. Duren,
Thank you for your review of our post from Childabuse.com, Greg Chase author.
We would certainly welcome your perspective on family violence, child abuse, violence against women! If you are inclined to write, or share articles from the past, we are looking to add a new author in our "Author's Corner" under the tab "Featured Authors." We would call your personal corner "Tiffany's Corner." If interested I can be reached at Gregory.chase@childabuse.com

Thank you again for standing up for children, reaching out to their parents; its a community effort all of us must share in.

Gregory Chase
Childabuse.com
editor
supported by grants from DiapersRus.com helping special needs children find the right products with Free home delivery.

Darlene - posted on 06/19/2013

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I agree completely with Dawn Christiansen and Tiffany Duren, and understand some of what you're going through. In my experience with my child at 2 years of age, although not as severe a trauma as you indicate, I dealt with the obvious regressive behaviour gently. I made sure that every time he looked at me, I looked back at him with love and support, even while gently reminding him of behaviour I didn't appreciate. I did not show anger, scold, yell, or physically discipline. I kept our activities and home life calm. We moved his toddler bed into our bedroom for several months. It's heartbreaking to watch them try to deal with something they shouldn't have to. We didn't seek counselling, and fortunately he improved over a period of about six months. Counselling might be even more helpful for you, so you can help your daughter. Our son is a well-balanced, funny, loving 14 year old now. Unconditional love helped him. God bless you.

Mollie - posted on 06/19/2013

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Call your local State Attorney's Office and speak with the victim's advocacy representative. See what they may be able to offer regarding counseling and assistance for you daughter.

Nikki - posted on 06/19/2013

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My sister went through trauma when my grandmother died in a house fire. The doctor told my mom that there is nothing that you can do except comfort them, cuddle them, and try to make things more interesting when they are in that mode. You just have to let them grieve in a way of their own.

Tiffany - posted on 06/19/2013

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My apologies if I am being repetitive. This is very challenging for you and for her to deal with and you shouldn't have to go thru this alone. As a fellow therapist who specializes in domestic violence and other traumas, I've worked with adult victims and perpetrators for many years, and as Greg Chase recommended, I strongly encourage the same actions he suggested. Speak to your daughter's pediatrician and get referrals from him/her for some great pediatric trauma therapists. It's super important for your daughter's welfare. It can also be of great help if you seek guidance from a therapist as well, since he/she can give you different insights, different approaches to try with your daughter, and help you process how your daughter's trauma and her reactions has impacted your life. If there are others in your immediate household (i.e. siblings, partner), they should also be encouraged to see a therapist to help them cope with these changes as well. A Family Systems approach can be very beneficial. As others have said, her reactions (regressing, purposeful bad choices, etc.) are all normal for children who have experienced traumatic events. They have a hard time expressing their feelings and are still learning emotion regulation. If the trauma your daughter experienced is more medical in nature than physical, emotional or sexual abuse, seek help from an appropriate provider who specializes in that field. Please seek help from a professional for you and for her, as it can make such a vast difference.

Dawn - posted on 06/19/2013

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"The five love languages for kids" is a great book to help you find ways to show your daughter that she is loved and secure in the way she understands it best. If all this is brought on by trauma, you need to understand that she is so hurt and so angry that she can't even deal with her problems. She feels so bad that she wants others to as well. My advice would be to not overly react about these things right now. A big response might be what she is expecting, but doesnt even know she is expecting and wanting. Does that make sense?
Have a heart filled with compassion for her. She is overwhelmed with emotion about her trauma.

Be extremely calm, and dont punish her harshly for responses to her trauma. Children dont have the ability to cope like we do. They feel everything so much more strongly than we feel them. So instead of punishing her i would find ways to redirect her. Spend as much time with her as you can doing really calm and low-key things like reading to her, coloring or watching a kids movie while you snuggle. Play together whatever she wants. play is really important to kids being able to work through trauma. Be affectionate with her more than usual. She needs to feel loved and safe.
I would also suggest finding a good child counselor. They can help walk her through the grief process. Of course use all the customary precautions: no closed doors, doing research on the counselor and listening to your instincts.

I dont know if this means anything to you, but i will be praying for both you and your daughter. I hope she deals with this and is able to move forward.

Tiphanie - posted on 06/19/2013

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If it was brain trama it maybe that her brain is hurt and she is regressing to what she can remember. She could be just being a temperamental 3 year old who wants to see what she can and can't get away with. If it was an emotional trama I would take her to a child psychiatrist not to put her on mess but to get her to talk to someone about her feelings and what's making her sad she may be having flashbacks and isn't aware on how to deal with them. I had a trama when I was 9 and I wish my mom and dad did that for me because I still haven't got complete closer of that incident and it has made me do lots if stupid things. I pray she grows out of this for you and that is able to get past this its difficult to deal with as a child and as a parent

FreedomSmellsNice - posted on 06/19/2013

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The good thing about life is that it is always changing, nothing stays the same for very long. Focus on the positive, do not ignore the negatives, but realize that she is trying to get negative attention. If you are able, get her a good therapist that she can talk to through play and drawings. Remember to breathe and give yourself a time out if she is out of control so that you are the strong one. I feel your pain.

Monika - posted on 06/19/2013

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Good idea, and if she refuses scoop it up and move it to her room, see how she likes the stink.

Urvashi - posted on 06/18/2013

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I feel you should try and have as much of a good time with her as possible like take a vacation wit her, make her meet new people and kids, nice kid movies, new playgrounds and activity schools. Her increasd interaction wit other people might ease her. Also give her maximum personal attention, cook her favourite foods. Instead of punishng her for any bad behavior, give her positive incentives for good behavior. All the best! !

WENDY - posted on 06/18/2013

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I suggest that you take her to school maybe she needs to get along with other kids as well.

Bridgette - posted on 06/18/2013

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just a small suggestion...look into EMDR. I'm not sure what age they start using this but it was AMAZING for me!!!

April - posted on 06/18/2013

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Wow. Well if your comfortable sharing the trauma it may be helpful. Sounds like she needs the space to do what she needs to do to process this trauma. I'd put a pull up on het and let her do her thing. Always show love and be available for support and to talk but let her tell you when. So sorry you're both going through this. Give her as much time as she needs and find a family or child counselor

TD - posted on 06/18/2013

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I really advise yoy to take her to a child Psycologist. Trauma needs to be adressed effectively with a professional otherwise may have a life time negative impact. With profesional help alot can improve and the problem could totally go away.

Abigail - posted on 06/18/2013

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My husband died when my girls were 3.5 and 1.5. The older one would go in her pants regularly. It is their way of expressing their negative emotion. A year and half later she doesn't do it anymore but her emotional level is much more easily upset and dramatic. The best thing you can do is just know that in time she will stop and your can't acknowledge the behavior. You just change her silently, no matter how furious you are, or how much you want to gag. If you make it matter of fact it takes the emotion out of the activity.

Dawn - posted on 06/18/2013

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Hi Tamia,

I see my responses via an w.mail ant to me by circle of mums. There is a link included which you click on.
Sorry for the tardy reply but only just come back on.

Barb - posted on 06/18/2013

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I have several adopted kids, some of whom have had significant trauma. Might I suggest to you checking out Dr. Karen Purvis' material? She deals primarily with adopted children, but youay find her techniques and ideas helpful in your situation.

Lisa Marie - posted on 06/18/2013

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You could move her timeout to the bathroom. Or make her clean it up. My girlfriend went through similar reaction and decided since she's petty trained she knows she's doing it so she can clean it up. But just so yyou know children doreact differently to things each year. My daughters lost their sister at 3&4 we are just now having them changing again their understanding at 7&8 you could put her in karate or tykwando sorry about the word mixup my computer is going crazy while im writing this. . If it was sexual abuse or similar sometimes putting her in a

Simona - posted on 06/18/2013

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Hi, have no experience with trauma, so can't help you there, but my daughter did the same thing to me when she was younger. Fully potty trained and well aware of her wees, whenever I put her in the naughty corner, she thought she'd get back at me but peeing on the floor. I tried spanking, but it didn't work cause it just gave her the attention she wanted. So I started ignoring her, when she wet herself, I'd strip her down without a word, change her clothes and told her to stay in the naughty corner until her time is up. After about 3 times doing that, she just stop wetting the floor.
Good luck, hope she gets over it soon x

Ruth - posted on 06/17/2013

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You could try ignoring, or some ridiculous reaction like laughing hysterically. You probably will feel like this. Alternatively, do a mock up kids book about a little girl could travel the world, visit friends, go to the zoo ( whatever she likes doing) when she gave up pooing everywhere.
Good luck.

Ruth - posted on 06/17/2013

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You could try something ridiculous like laughing at the poos and wees - and rewarding her when she does use the toilet. You could try drawing the pictures of a little girl potty training etc and how great that was because it meant she could go and visit the world. When she pooed everywhere she had to stay at home.
Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 06/17/2013

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I went trough major trauma at age 3 and for first few months my family tried to deal with it themselves and I had huge extended family. There was no discipline or anything like that just lots of love and understanding, since I was big talker at that age we also talked about it. It worked for few months and than I regressed very fast and to a point were I would not talk at all. At that point I was taken to pediatric psychiatrist and hospitalized in childrens hospital for a week. My outpatient therapy lasted about 2 years, I was back to behaving "normal" within first 5 mo. and they helped me erase all trauma out of my conscious mind, subconscious memories stayed intact and I was left with mild form of PTSD. Until I was 4o years old I was able to use stress in my favor, I was thriving on it for many years. In my mid thirties I was in very traumatic car accident and things started unraveling slowly and I started therapy all over again, it lasted of and on for 10 years. Today I am 57 and do have PTSD with anxiety and panic attacks, but I am happily married and have great life, just take my meds at night before going to sleep. She needs help now and she will need it later, so don't wait, run and get it!!!!!!!

Julie-Anne - posted on 06/17/2013

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There are 1,000 Emotion Code practitioners worldwide, many of whom would agree to rebalance your LO's energy system, since it got trapped due to a trauma. This is such a gift to humanity. See healerslibrary.com website or drbradleynelson.com for practitioners in your area/language/timezone. A session is conducted by phone/Skype or in person. I have used Emotion Code for my grandkids successfully, though my dd has also had to be firm/understanding/reassuring/loving and so on. It isn't magic, just a great help.

Teresa - posted on 06/17/2013

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The best book ever for any parent to read is The Power of Validation by Hall and Cook. It's only 150 pages but the information will transform your parenting.

Amanda - posted on 06/17/2013

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eHOW WED PAGE EMOTIONS IN KIDS HELPS AND BOOKS HELP ME BE GOOD BOOKS BY JOY WILT BERRY.

Amanda - posted on 06/17/2013

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professional help and a happy place not a time out place have a small place in your liveroom. they can do art work look at books ...ect. say I know you are upset its ok I love you .after the happy place . have her with you cleaning it up .tell her it makes you sad when you have to clean it up . so happy place and happy book bag when your out .hope this helps

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