• Geri Robertson, RC

Why is he so angry?

"WE got up everything was fine until his sister reached over and knocked over his milk. He freaked out, started yelling and screaming and throwing things off the table. I tried to tell him to calm down. At first I was calm, then he thru a cup and it hit me and then I got angry, now he's angry yelling, I'm angry yelling and his sister is crying and his father is at work. I still have all day of home schooling to get thru, I'll never do it!, all I want to do is go back to bed. I'm so tired of these unwarranted overblown outbursts worried for his little sister because she is afraid of him, of my own fear around why he does this"


I hear this exact story daily in my counselling practice. These poor parents who are being asked so much right now it is heart breaking, mostly because they see on FB how great everyone else is doing, which isn't exactly true. I always remind my parents FB isn't real it's what people want us to think their lives are like, it's not really what their lives are like. Navigating our own reality with our children is hard enough, let alone when we start to compare ourselves with others.


Challenging behavior in our children is scary and makes us feel as though we are bad parents, or we are parenting badly. This is not always the case. Most times we parent our children exactly the same but what works for one doesn't even come close to the mark with another. This is where we as parents get off track. What we don't know is that what works for one person, child, doesn't work for another. Our expectation is all children are alike, but they are not. Yes we know they have different personalities, however, in some children it goes much deeper than just personality. It's about brain development and sometimes birthing experiences or early medical trauma can affect this development.


The brain of an infant is like a sponge, what we feel, think, experience emotionally, while carrying them, can have a lasting affect on the brain. I have come to know there is a predetermined type of brain that does not develop in the same way as others. It is actually emotionally not developed at full term as a "normal" brain. I refer to this type of brain as "Sensitive Brain". These children under normal circumstances develop fairly well given all the right components. These being, nurturing parents, normal undramatic birthing, no infant medical trauma. If all the stars align for these children they develop with little or no real deficiency. However, if a child with SB whose parent suffers emotional trauma during pregnancy, or if the birth is traumatic or the child experiences a medical trauma in infancy, then this child does not develop in the normal course of things. Their little brains are altered by the trauma because they are already susceptible.


As the child grows, they become more and more reactive, dysregulated, don't connect with their siblings, challenge their parents whenever they are asked to do something. Get into power struggles, they are quick to anger and frustration, obsessive, manipulative. These children are also, usually, gifted in some way, very smart and are very loving. They do seem to be two people in one body. How we respond to these traits dictates how well our relationship with them will be. Understanding our SB is a wonderful and interesting journey. But it takes knowledge, a want to understand, compassionate inquiry and a boat load of patience. I work with lots of these families and they report thru their newly gained knowledge and understanding they are able to navigate much better thru the storms than before.


Parental coaching is my passion, helping you is my joy. To connect and find out more about your SB child and his/her challenging behavior please click the email below to connect.


geri@thebridgecounselling.ca




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