Tag Archives: trauma

Helping out a very stressed little one… as naturally as possible…

Sorry for the gap in posts again.  I am afraid it is going to happen with more regularity, as the big news from us is that we have FINALLY been approved to adopt a little boy.  We have met him, we have been in front of a panel of people and they agreed we would be a good match, and we have even planned the introduction process.

Adoption

But over the last couple of days, I have been thinking about our prospective little boy, and how confused and upset he is likely to feel when he leaves his foster carers and their home, the only home he has ever known and comes to our home, the home he will be in for the rest of his life.  The only word I can use to describe what he will feel is trauma.

 

Now, we will of course do our utmost to ensure that the little guy is as comfortable as possible with the transition, but I am expecting some upsets.  Despite the best will in the world, his routine is going to be disturbed and upset, and that is unsettling for anyone.  Plus, you know, we are strangers to him at the moment and that has to be unnerving.   I have done some research into what I can do herbally to help him recover though, and I think it is advice I might be taking for hubby and I as well.

support

The first major thing in getting over any trauma at all, is to get support while you are going through it.  Obviously, we will be supporting our little boy, and luckily we have a wide and diverse network out there to support us.  I have no doubt we will be availing ourselves… be it with help with the ironing, to walking the dog duties, to being at the end of a telephone in case things get a bit much for us and we need to bounce ideas off of them.  We are blessed to have so many people ready and willing to help us out.

toddler sleeping

The next important thing is rest.  I am sure that our little one will sleep a lot.  He is at the age where he is making a lot of brain leaps anyway, and add into the mix the trauma of changing families, and he is going to be sleeping quite a bit more… on these occasions, sleep is great.  It rejuvenates, it helps the body to reinvigorate, and it restores the nervous system.  Sleep even brings greater resistance to stress.    Even if the night time sleep is patchy, there are always naps.  Naps are awesome and I have every intention of taking advantage of them as and when I can.

vegetables

Optimal nutrition is going to play a huge part in the recovery for our little guy.  We are lucky because the foster carers have done an amazing job with him, and he has a healthy appetite.  He eats everything that is put in front of him.  Except peas.  Well, that is okay, I don’t suppose I was wild about peas at his age either.  I am going to be keeping food simple, cooked from fresh and low on sugar and wheat.  He will get some wheat, because my readers will know I do not hold with cutting out major food groups just for the sake of it.  Sugar, of course, we all know is the enemy our modern age.  Fruit sugar… no problem.  Added sugar?  Not on your life!

 

The big thing though is going to be how he processes the trauma.  For adults there are myriad talking therapies, but for a little guy… well, we are kind of at a loss. We have made an introduction book for him which will be important to read with him again and again, and we can sit and quietly read books to him and tell him stories.  I think the major thing will be to create a calm atmosphere, maintain that calm atmosphere and be understanding when the meltdowns inevitably happen.

calm

 

But one thing I am definitely going to have in my arsenal is Bach Rescue Remedy.  I have seen it turn a hysterically crying child who is in shock after falling down and hurting themselves into a biddable quiet child again in very short order indeed.  I am even going to pack some in our baby bag (you know, the pantechnicon which is carried EVERYWHERE with you and is packed with everything you might possibly need!).  You never when you might need it… and not just for the baby!

 

I have no idea when I am going to be able to get back to this page… but I am sure you understand that my priorities lie elsewhere just at the moment.  In 1 months time, I will be a full time Mum to a nearly 14 month old.  Wow.  That takes some computing!

 

 

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“To sleep: perchance to dream”

That quote comes from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet.  The Danish Prince thought that sleeping sounded a great idea.  It was the dreaming that caused problems.  Mind you, the guy was under some stress at the time, and that probably contributed to his nightmares.

hamlet

You may be relieved to know, that having nightmares is very normal.  Everyone gets them once in a while, but if they happen often and you wake up in a sweat, or worse, screaming, then it may be a reflection of something a bit worse at work.  Nightmares can be symptomatic of a psychiatric illness or distress of some kind and are often experienced by people who have sufffered some trauma, such as abuse, war or a natural disaster of some kind.  In Hamlet’s case, seeing your Dad assassinated probably fits into two out of those three categories.

Apparently nightmares are most common in children.  Specialists think it is because they find it difficult to process things cognitively, so if they have a sudden shock or see something they can’t make sense of, then nightmares can be the way that they process the information.  Nightmares, and other dreams, happen during periods of rapid eye movement sleep, so the scariness of the dream can jolt you awake and make you feel very disoriented.

nightmares

So how can you help prevent nightmares for the young or old?  Facing the cause of the nightmare is a good way of doing it.  If it is difficult to work out what is causing the nightmare, then try and work out what situations in your life are causing some stress and try and work out those situations in a positive way.

Another good piece of advice is to remove the scares.  If you do not like zombie movies and have nightmares after watching them, then… ummm… don’t watch them.  If you are like me, i.e. a complete wuss, then your range of pre-bedtime viewing is quite limited.   But I don’t like having nightmares either, so I would rather limit the viewing then freak out and leave my imagination to work it all out.

Apparently having a bedtime ritual is a good idea for limiting nightmares.  Do the same things every night at the same time.  If your child seems to have a nightmare at the same time every night, then waking them up slightly before the nightmare and then settling them down to sleep again is a great way of breaking the dreaming pattern and hopefully stop the regular problem.

bedtime snack

If you are an adult and get regular nightmares, look at your food and drink intake just before bed.  Do not drink alcohol at night, and do not eat before bed either.  It is not good for your dreams, and it isn’t good for the diet either.