Your attachment challenged, traumatized child is wounded. Period. Because of that, therapeutic parenting is required for the sum total of childhood, and some parts of adulthood. The key to therapeutic parenting is consistent, emotionally stable caring for your child, and a firm sense of personal wellness inside yourself. Therapeutic parenting requires that parents get their needs met somewhere else. If you are not doing that; and if you are expecting your wounded child to be able to reciprocate consistently, you are not seeing your child clearly. You are seeing the child for whom you hoped, desired, imagined. That child was the fantasy. Your child is the reality.
Your child is special, and needs special care. You must care for your child’s brain, heart, and body the way nurses in a hospital care for a healing person. I don’t mean to pathologize your child. You don’t need to to that to recognize that your child has limited access to the executive function, a dysregulated regulatory system, and a constant need for external stimulation to find a peaceful place for the mind/body complex in the physical world. Your child has all of that going on all at once, and needs special care to recover.
In the UK parents of foster and adoptive children are called “carers.” That is kind of strange to my American ears; however, the more I think about it the more I see how carer has a more accurate connotation for what is required to heal the wounded heart of a child from difficult beginnings. The word parent by definition implies biological attachment reciprocity. The word carer implies healing of another without need for attachment reciprocation.
If you thought of yourself as a specialist in caring (i.e. carer), would your reaction to your child’s distorted response to your efforts be different? I dare think it would.
Love matters, dear carers,
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The next 8-hr. Attachment- and Trauma-informed Therapeutic Parenting Workshop is specially scheduled for one day–July 23rd–from 9am to 5pm. We usually hold the training on two days, but this is an exception for those who cannot find time on two consecutive Saturdays to attend a training. To register, go to https://www.attachplace.com/shop. Childcare provided for an additional fee. Email email@example.com to register.