Friday, September 30, 2011


Luckily, I grew up in a small town surrounded by family. My parents did a pretty good job of protecting my siblings and me. We never experienced abuse, neglect or even poverty. Unfortunately my husband experienced a great deal of chaos as a young child. His parents divorced when he was six and his mom remarried soon after. His stepfather's job required the family to move quite a bit. My husband attended nine different schools before the age of 15. These moves made him feel anxious, lonely and shy. Not only did he have to make new friends constantly, he wasn't around many family members--including his dad. This caused major stress and seemed to be very chaotic for him as a child. He even formed an ulcer in his stomach due to the stress! Academically the constant moving was not beneficial--he struggled in each grade. He did form friendships and he overcompensated the chaos in his life by becoming the class clown in each new school. He also joined sports teams--but he never felt comfortable--life was just chaotic.
Age 11
Smiling through his stress

I decided to look at the chaos caused by the 2004 tsunami. When the tsunami occurred, I recall being surprised and sad. What a horrible event! What happens after the tsunami? How do children cope or even survive? A study was conducted on the effects of the tsunami and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"3 to 4 weeks after the tsunami 14% to 39% of children and 41% of adolescents had PTSD"(Tull, 2009).
"It is not known what the long term psychological effects on children will be, but it is estimated that many survivors will develop psychiatric disorders" (Tull, 2009).
Maybe the chaos of moving multiple times is not as detrimental as the chaos the tsunami caused, but none the less any chaos in early childhood can be traumatic.

Reference: (2011). The Psychological Impact of the 2004 Tsunami (By Matthew Tull, PhD., July 20, 2009). Retrieved October 1, 2011, from


Janille said...


I always love your blogs, it was interesting to read your blog on chaos. Would you relate this to stres? or are the two totally different?

Patricia Robinson said...

I can only imagine how traumatic going through such a disaster could be. When we as adults stress, we are able to pull on past experiences and experiences of others to deal with those situations. However, children have few experiences to help them through and know that it would get better. Reading Stacie's, blog, Japan created a cartoon to help children. What do you think about this idea?