Structure With Nurture Means Felt Safety

Dear Parent,

The road to felt safety for children from difficult beginnings is paved with structure and nurture.

Holding structure with a loving voice, soft eyes, sweet face will show that you are safe and that you mean business.  Meaning business means being willing to take the time to wait for the behavior you are requesting.  It may take days to get that backpack picked up and by then fifteen other violations have happened.

Yep, that sounds right.  Try to facilitate something exciting, fun, or delicious right after your child refuses to follow your third attempt at teaching through playful structure, rather than consequences.

Parent: I’m going to get some ice-cream.  

Refusing child: I want some.

Parent: Great, what flavor do you want?

Refusing child: Chocolate.

Parent: Awesome, we have chocolate.  After you get that backpack to your room, it will be waiting for you on the table.  Hurry, so it doesn’t melt.

I know that feels like bribery, but it is the path to breaking down the resistance habit and getting a start on creating a new cooperative neuropathway.  You are going to have to trust me on this.  Felt safety will follow.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,



picture of cover

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