Creating “felt safety” is the supreme goal for a therapeutic parent of attachment challenged, traumatized children. The problem is how to do it.
Your task is to be safe for the brain of your child who lives very close to the edge of survival every day. All that hypervigilance and attention to things that are none of your child’s business is all about hard-wired fear. Your child may not have any idea that s/he lives in fear, but the body knows.
The best way to make yourself safe is to be predictable, consistent, even-tempered, structured, and anticipatory. Anticipate that your child will be reactive at every turn and grease the wheels for smooth transitions. Yes, our children are nosey. Being nosey is a survival skill. Instead of chastising the little sweeties for sticking their noses where they don’t belong, invite them in with enough information to bring their anxiety down and to increase your trustworthiness as a safe, loving parent.
Say It Out Loud Parents
I know you don’t want to “have” to tell your child everything you are going to do before you do it; and you don’t “have” to. When you don’t, however, there will be reactive outbursts that you will pay a bigger price for in the long run. It is a loving thing to develop a transparent style with your child. It is like talking out loud about your next moves. Your child’s brain will thank you.
Sign-up for our next Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting course coming up on April 1, 2017 from 10am to 5pm. Childcare provided for an extra fee. This course can be paid for by CALVCP if you are already approved.
Join our monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group on March 8, 2017! Open to all adoptive parents at no cost. Support group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6pm to 8pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Child care provided at no cost. Please send an email to Jen@attachplace.com to let her know you are going to attend a day before the group. That allows us time to add to our childcare cadre if we need to do so. Thank you.
Get your discounted copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT. Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.