Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Constant Crazy Questions

Have any of my dear trauma mama friends noticed their kids tend to ask a lot of crazy/silly questions?  Does it seem to increase even more when you’re stuck inside the car with them?  I can pretty much guarantee every time I am alone in the car with The Princess, the questions will start.  Even when there are five of us in the car, she asks more crazy/silly questions than she does when she’s at home, for example.

Both of my hurt kids use questions to bait me into an argument.  
Kid:  “Mom, do you think it’s going to rain today?”  
Me, looking up at a lot of gray clouds in the sky:  “I don’t know, but it sure looks like it.”  
Kid:  “No, it’s not.  The weather man said it would just be cloudy.”  
UGH.  Those are questions to argue.  But that’s another topic and I’ll write about it on another post, later.

Remember, I raised four boys before bringing home The Princess and Youngest Son.  I’ve been through the silly questions stage a few times before.  With the older boys, however, constant silly questions stopped by the time they were about four years old.  The Princess experienced a great deal of her trauma at age three.  If kids get “stuck” emotionally at the age which trauma occurs, then the constant questions would be normal for her emotional development.  The thing is, I don’t want her to stay there.  (Selfishly, that’s for my sake more than it is for hers.  Okay, not really.  But yeah.  Kind of.)

We’ve taken to being silent when The Princess asks a silly question – one that doesn’t need an answer – one she can figure out herself – one she already knows the answer to, but just wants to hear the sound her own voice, so she asks.  Silence bugs the crud out of The Princess.  But silence helps her to realize she’s being silly.  Oh, she still tries to cover herself and does the baby voice and says, “What?  Why won’t you answer me.”  Still, we are silent.  (It’s usually about then that one of the boys [usually Youngest Son] will say, “Duh.  THINK about it!”)

One technique I read somewhere suggested parents give a child who asks constant questions a limit to the number of questions they can ask at a given time.  For example, say you’re driving across town.  You might give your child an eight question limit.  This will make them think (if they’re able) about whether or not they want to use one of their questions, or whether the thing they’re asking is worth their time (and yours).  I just may try that when I pick up The Princess from school today.  I haven’t thought about trying it for a while.  I think if we make a game out of it, and I don’t make it too big of a deal, she may actually start to think.  It’s worth a shot.

I also haven’t thought about why she may increase her questioning while riding in the car.  I realized today that her anxiety does indeed seem to increase when riding in the car.  She’s not usually obviously nervous, nor does she SEEM stressed out, but she does get more animated and she really does talk a LOT more in the car.  It could be the confined space.  It could also be that the first time she rode in a car at age three, she was being taken away from her first mother.  Riding in the car could be a trauma trigger.  What do you think?


Courtney said...

Alex used to FREAK OUT when we would go anywhere in the car. I think he always thought we were taking him back, or taking him somewhere else to leave him, or so on. Now that we've got more kids (than just him and Tim) he has settled down a lot with the car. However, he still hates not knowing where we are going or what is happening. That's when I start getting all of the time questions (when we will get there, how long will it take, what are we doing next, when will we get home...).

Trauma Mama T said...

Courtney, my kids also HATE not knowing what's going to happen or when it's going to happen. Any change - even little changes - to routine messes with them. Today after school, I took The Princess to the grocery store instead of coming right home. Youngest Son was TICKED when I walked in the door. I had "abandoned" him for a half hour! Oy, the guilt he tried to pile on. Thing is, I told him this morning I was going to the store after school and would be a bit later than usual getting in. The Princess remembered me telling him. He didn't. So now, I pay.