“Mom, the rooster is attacking me!” Amerey said on the phone.
“What?” I answered in disbelief.
“He chased me around the yard!”
Amerey was house sitting for a friend of the family who raises chickens. One of her duties was to get all the chickens back in the inner coop every evening. Rooster was giving her a problem. After a phone call to the owner and an assurance of the rooster’s imminent demise, she left him out for the time being. The next morning, Amerey called me again and asked me to send help over. Rooster hadn’t eaten and needed to be put back in the coop for food and water. He would rather chase her around the yard then get proper food and nourishment. Control seemed as if it were more important than survival.
This rooster reminds me of how sometimes hurt adopted children respond to loving care. These children sometimes would rather control their circumstances,giving them a false sense of security, then let someone take care of them. When caring for hurt children, it is important that the parent overrides this and provides all the physical care regardless of whether the child wants it or not. Children with a stress shaped brain (caused by early childhood trauma) may not be able to listen to their body’s signals of hunger, thirst and weariness. When the brain is on high alert, a child may continue to play while his body is getting dehydrated.
Just as the rooster continued to attack Amerey when he needed food and water, a hurt child may attempt to cause chaos when he feels out of control. He may be angry and defiant because he doesn’t know what is happening next. Ask yourself this- has there been a schedule change? Does he need a break? Food, water? He may not know. As a parent, it is important to manage these things for your child until he can recognize the needs himself.