The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog

Our vacation is coming to an end and it has been wonderful.  Vacation with kids from the “hard places” is unique and Russ and I have had to adjust our expectations.  As structure decreases, anxiety increases, and behavior gets more volatile.  We are trying to keep everyone’s hearts filled up with love and wear the kids out on the beach…but we’ve had some tough moments.  Fortunately the great moments far outweigh the challenging ones!

Tomorrow Russ and the guys head home while I head to my sister’s as we wait for appointments on Thursday and Friday.

I just finished reading The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

I wish I had read it sooner.  As I seek to understand my children, and other children we know, I want to grasp all that I can.  It is enlightening to get a glimpse of the ways the brain is literally shaped and affected by trauma.

This is an engrossing book that grabs you and is hard to  put down. While the children’s stories are very sad, most of them are hopeful.  I personally found certain chapters hard to read as I thought about my own little ones.

Perry writes:

Troubled children are in some kind of pain — and pain makes people irritable, anxious and aggressive. Only patient, loving, consistent care works; there are no short term miracle cures. (p. 244)

and

I also cannot emphasize enough how important routine and repetition are to recovery…The longer the period of trauma, or the more extreme the trauma, the greater the number of repetitions required to regain balance. (p. 245)

Bruce Perry is a staunch evolutionist, which makes for some interesting thoughts, yet he is offering a great work to the world.

Have you read it? What did you think?

~Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Kerrie
    July 26, 2010

    I loved his brain hierarchy discussion. I used it with Buddy and Peanut to explain some of why Princess behaves the way she does. And they actually understood it.

    Reply
  2. Chantelle
    July 26, 2010

    Wow. Sounds powerful. I will have to consider adding it to my always growing reading list. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Katie
    July 26, 2010

    I loved this book. I loved it because it was so real and didn't sugar-coat the problems. Ultimately, it offered hope and bright futures for so many of these traumatized kids.

    Reply
  4. Lisa H.
    July 26, 2010

    I thought this book was very helpful, and it helped me understand some of my son's issues related to sensory issues, etc….

    Definitely a recommended read!

    Lisa H.

    Reply
  5. Paula
    July 26, 2010

    I wonder if I can get it for my Nook? I'll find out.

    Meanwhile, that is an absolutely lovely picture you have there of your little girl and her daddy. You should get it framed.

    Reply
  6. sandee
    July 27, 2010

    oh, for more time to read. It is interesting how you put the experience of your trip…"As structure decreases, anxiety increases, and behavior gets more volatile. "…I just experienced the same this weekend, as we did a camping trip…and called it fun and unfun.

    I realize, in even our day to day lives this summer, we have more unstructure than structure. something for me to think about.

    Reply
  7. coffeemom
    July 27, 2010

    Buying it right now. Through your link. Haven't heard of it, but oh, need it. Great post and as always, you and I live somewhat parallel lives and your resources are indispensable! Bless you!

    Reply
  8. Lori S
    July 27, 2010

    I haven't read it, but I'm putting it on my list. I feel like we flounder from day to day. Would be so good to know where the behavior is coming from and be able to feel for my girls and love them through it!

    Reply
  9. Signe
    July 27, 2010

    I thought it was a great book. It was very affirming as a parent that ultimately what children need is healthy families, not a lifetime of therapy. It gave me confidence that loving my adopted kids needs to look like loving my bio kids, I just need to add an extra measure of grace. I didn't find his evolutionary bias overly distracting, since what he was saying was so centered around healthy families, and healthy communities. I would recommend it to anyone who deals with children in any capacity. Sometimes the children you are working with have trauma histories and you don't know it.

    Call when you get home.

    Reply
  10. Amy
    July 27, 2010

    I love this book!
    Read it when it first came out as I am a big fan of Bruce Perry!

    Reply
  11. Sandie
    July 29, 2010

    I was wondering where this post was going when I read the title and scrolled downand saw the photo of your lovely husband!!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      July 29, 2010

      Sandie, that is so funny. Russ said he hoped I would quickly explain the title of the post!

      Reply
  12. April
    July 29, 2010

    Lisa,
    Do you have any recommendations on how to TEACH impulse control to a child who has suffered trauma? Grace (Prim) does not think before she acts in so many situations and I can tell her a million times not to do something and she does it any way regardless of how big or small. She acts according to her "wants" instead of a desire to be obedient. It's like she can't help herself! She is incredibly impulsive and also has a hard time being still in any situation. She doesn't walk. She falls, skips, jumps. I know she's only four but self control is such an important skill for her!
    Any suggestions or a good book?
    April

    Reply
  13. Debbie
    July 29, 2010

    I really liked this book. I had a problem with his evolutionary views, but he has got the kids behavior and needs right on. I am not a "structured" person by nature, but we tend to have quite a bit of structure in our house and it helps. Sameness – good sameness, over and over again — it is helping.

    DEB

    Reply
  14. learningpatience
    July 30, 2010

    Oh no! Another book on my reading list! Eek! (Really, thanks for the recommendation!)

    Reply
  15. Jillian
    July 30, 2010

    This is on my "to read" list, thanks for the rec…I will actually get to it now 🙂 One thing I have had to tell myself over and over again is "scared kids do scary things"…it is from "Beyond Consequences"….and it is the story of the last 18 months for us 🙂

    Reply
  16. Susan
    July 30, 2010

    I'm ordering this ASAP. As a former biologist, I have no problem with looking at this from an evolutionary standpoint. In fact, it's helpful and comforting. Thanks for recommending it!

    Reply
  17. Jennifer
    July 31, 2010

    Thanks for the honesty about vacations. One of our daughters has "sabotaged" our vacations for 4 years. Well, to be fair, that means our experience did not meet our own expectations. This year she did much better. I love that quote about the longer the trauma, the more repetitions it takes to gain balance. Frankly vacations are a lot of work because of the diligence necessary when we are out of our routine but hopefully, looking back, all the kids will have broadened their world and have great memories.

    Great picture of your daughter smiling from the inside out. Beautiful!

    Reply
  18. Prof. LaPanna
    May 7, 2014

    I use this book with my college students to help them learn about the brain and learning. We also use it as an impetus for service learning. They volunteer in the community to help with some of the social issues that affect children's brain development (domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, etc.). So glad you found it helpful! I LOVE this book!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 7, 2014

      That is great to hear. I would love to hear Bruce Perry speak sometime.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy