FAS Treatment Part IV

  1. FAS Treatment Part IV
    * This is part IV in a series on treatment for FAS. This is part of an article I wrote years many years ago! Thanks for joining me!

On holiday vacations, my sister-in-law,Kris and I sit in the family room with our latest reading books in the early morning, she with her milk and cereal, I with my coffee and cream.  We read for awhile and lapse into conversations about life, schedule, etc, until slowly, one by one the children enter sleepy-eyed, asking questions about the day’s events.  Kris will say to me, “Kath, what should we have for breakfast?”  Then we both kick it into high gear and make home-made French toast, waffles, or pancakes or if we are really lucky, we get my brother Robert to make his famous omelets.  Kris and I joke that by the time we get breakfast cleaned up that it will be time for lunch, but this is our vacation mode.  The kids and adults take full advantage of this time. There are more movies watched, video games played, bowling, outdoor hikes and football games.  The fun seems to never stop until one of the kids has an emotional breakdown due to exhaustion and too much sugar.  Fortunately, we don’t live in vacation mode; it’s not healthy for extended periods of time and it’s not helpful for FAS children.
Imagine, while in vacation mode, sitting on the comfy sectional, eating buttery popcorn and watching an action adventure movie that leaves you hanging onto your seat for dear life until the final credits roll.  This is how an FAS child feels about life with no structure.  He feels out of control, one cliff-hanging, mind wrenching scene after another. An FAS child, like so many other capital letter syndromes just need to know what is coming next, he craves predictability, it makes him feel as if he has some control.

“Without a parent-leader, these children learn to rely on themselves.  They learn nothing about reciprocity, cause and effect thinking, being directed constructively.  And they learn nothing about being nurtured.
As a result, these children need even more of a parent centered family than a child who has not experienced trauma.”   Parenting the Hurt Child

A child-centered family is disaster for an FAS child.  The family will spiral out of control until the environment explodes in an angry black hole.  The child will run the home like a small terrorist setting off bombs at will.  When parents leave everything up to the child- when he wants to eat, when he wants to go to bed, if he wants to do his homework, what he wants to wear (even if it is shorts in the middle of winter), then the child becomes more and more angry because he doesn’t have the wisdom to know what’s best for him and the parents just scratch their heads trying to figure out what is wrong, because they always gave the child what he wanted.  

Next time- Parenting with Schedule.

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