This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Understanding the Attachment Challenged/ Traumatized Child

This is a great, simple explanation of why our kids act the way they do, and why it's so important to be a therapeutic parent.

Our children are often missing the basic building blocks that allow a child to be securely attached. It's like a brick wall with a cracked foundation that's missing all of big chunks of bricks. It's very difficult to go back and repair those early bricks. 
Secure Attachment - Basic needs met consistently

Basic needs not met consistently - weak foundation

Traumatized children often adapt their behavior to the person sitting in front of them. Claiming to like what the person likes, offering hugs and cuddles - reading the person's body language with the skill of a con man. 

They are doing this to survive, and to stay "safe!"
(Why Doesn't My Child Feel Safe). 

This is not to be deceitful or manipulative and it is NOT to hurt you (the female caregiver), it is a basic survival instinct. They have learned some great survival skills. This behavior is saying, "Don't hurt me. Keep me safe. I'm no threat to you." (You might see the "fake smile." This is also one reason they may speak in a baby voice.) 

This often means that the person they're "charming" can't believe this empathetic, lovely child would ever do the things you describe them doing at home. They're taken in by the child. Which can be very invalidating for you. 

"When your child goes out without a coat on. You can explain to the child a hundred times... there's no point. There's no point in sitting them down and talking to them about their behavior. Those pathways don't exist yet. 
You've got to make the change first. You've got to be a therapeutic parent." - Sarah Naish 
My posts on Therapeutic Parenting:
My Top 10 Things I Couldn't Do This Without
Therapeutic Parenting - Behavior Management and Discipline 
TBRI - Trauma Based Relational Intervention