The Big Misunderstanding – Trauma Versus Disappointment

The first secret to raising kids is knowing the huge distinction between trauma and disappointment. Yes, you’ll disappoint your sweetie when you stop letting him call the shots at bedtime – but no, he won’t be the least bit traumatized. In fact, he’ll take a giant step toward becoming a well-adjusted tiny individual.

So what’s the huge distinction between trauma and disappointment? Check out the following explanations:

1. A trauma is often a terrible event that shakes a child to the core, challenges his belief that the world can be a safe place, and causes long-term emotional distress – for instance, the death of an individual he loves or abandonment by the persons he trusts. Traumas occur when significant needs are denied, and they cause grave harm.

2. Disappointments, on the other hand, are tiny clouds that pass, causing no harm at all. They’re basically unanswered desires that occur when persons produce expectations that can’t be fulfilled – and they’re the stuff of daily life.

Fortunately, traumas happen far less frequently than disappointments. Of course, everybody wants to skate through life free of both traumas and disappointments – and caring parents certainly strive to keep both to a minimum. But it’s significant not to mistake minor disappointments for significant traumas because this mistake can hinder both you and your child. What’s additional, it’s a common trap for dad and mom.

Why is it so simple to make this mistake? To get an idea, picture an 8-month-old crying up a storm at 2 a.m. Due to the fact his mother and father weaned him from the nighttime bottle two months ago, they know he isn’t hungry. They’re also sure he isn’t sick, in pain, or basically stuck. In reality, he’s just trying to wake up Mommy and Daddy, get them out of bed, and enjoy a tiny snuggle.

But even after they make sure nothing’s actually wrong (see the yellow tear-out card at the front of this book), his father and mother believe they’re hearing the primal scream of a child terrified by the impending trauma of parental abandonment. It’s a classic case of mistaken identity – the disappointed infant masquerading as a broken-hearted child in a life crisis.