Trauma as an Excuse for Behavior


To start, please forgive me—I’m still a recovering “parenting-babble” believer. Which leads me to this question: we adopted two elementary-aged children out of foster care. The big bad wolf that everybody keeps bringing up is the “trauma”—especially the trauma that “we’ll just never know about.”

Case in point: Kid throws a tantrum, that’s “trauma, not attached”. Kid wants a hug, that’s “trauma, didn’t get enough attention”. Kid misses a problem in math, that’s “trauma, not enough stimuli in the first three years.” Kid says please and thank you, that’s “trauma, a people-pleaser, trying to feel accepted.”

So then I look at these kids, wondering how much of their personality and their behaviors are them, and how much is the “trauma.” Would you mind commenting on “trauma” and its effects on childhood behaviors?


It is most encouraging to hear that another parent is in recovery and we support you.

Trauma is one of the most mis-used words of the present day and can mean anything. The psychology world encourages everyone to embrace their traumas, recognize they have been traumatized, connect their traumas to everything that goes wrong in life, use trauma as an excuse, feel their trauma, and on and on. This creates a legion of people who are dependent on trauma to shape who they are and a revolving door of dependency on the system.

To say more is outside the scope of this forum. However, I am hoping you can continue in your recovery using the resources that John Rosemond has created.

Gretchen Slover

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