Teach to Switch Without Pitching A Fit

Dear Parents,

I majority of meltdowns with traumatized, attachment challenged children occur when you are asking your child to move from being in the land of mutual play and lightheartedness to trusting your lead when you have to give a rather innocuous parental command like “Okay Jaden, it’s time to clean up toys and get ready for bed.” Boom!  It’s on.

Mistrustful children’s lids flip when they must suddenly switch from being on self-dependence and control to depending on you to direct them, keep them safe, and make good decisions “for” them.  Yep, just like that.

The habit of being mistrustful is hardwired in most of our children’s brains, so we have to help them break the neural cascade that leads to pitching a fit.

Attachment Help

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Four important things to remember:

  1.  It’s a brain thing.
  2. Be safe in play and stay safe when switching from play mode to parental authority mode.
  3. Signal your child that things are going to switch up in a minute; bring them close; remind them that they are safe with you and that they can trust and depend on you.
  4. It takes thousands of repetitions to rewire a frightened brain. Every time you parent from your own flipped brain, you are reminding your child that you are not safe and trusting you is dangerous.  Make amends, forgive yourself, and try again.  No one is perfect.

Love matters,


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