Wishy-Washy Whiplash

Dear Parent,

I like that.  No, I don’t.  I had that before and I liked it.  I don’t like it now.  I like her.  No, I never really did.  I never told you, but…   Children are wishy-washy whiplash makers.  Simple advice:  Take it in stride.  Our kids are like all kids–multiplied by 10, of course.

Caught between wanting to please and rejecting in order to control their worlds, traumatized children rarely know what they themselves like.  Beyond that, trauma brains tend to repress negative feelings.  Unfortunately, that means joy is repressed, too. Many of our kids have little curiosity about things related to them that they enjoy.  They are curious about worldly things–sex, the dark underbelly, anything you say no to–but not their taste buds, their preference for ocean over mountains, their physical temperature, what they enjoy, what they truly want.

Here is what you can do to help them get out of the wishy-washy whiplash dance. Ask them to slow down, try it and see.  Slow down, get to know the person.  Slow down, be friends before sweethearts.  Slow down, taste it.  Taste it twice.  You can even do fun mindfulness exercises like holding a raisin on the tongue without chewing.  Have them notice different things about the raisin: texture, shape, feel on the tongue, sweetness, flavor, the way it changes when chewed, whether they like the feel, and, finally, whether they like that raisin (because all raisins do not taste the same).

If you take the time to teach your child mindfulness, you might avoid a chiropractor bill in the long run.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,


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The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for June 18th and 25th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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