Welcome to the Hopeful Connections Parenting.
As a TBRI® Educator and parent coach, my knowledge of child development and training in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) allows me to come alongside parents and caregivers to unravel the complicated behaviors presented by your adopted or foster child. As you learn about TBRI®, we will collaborate to create solutions which apply TBRI® principles and strategies and discover the need behind your child's behaviors.
You really can create a home to offer healing to your child. Call now at 208-991-0760 and let's talk about how I can help.
Michelle Batten, TBRI® Educator and ACPI Certified Parent Coach
If you have been on the journey of adoption or foster for more than a few minutes, then you know that parenting a child from hard place can be different than parenting a child without trauma. The child from a hard place will have some behaviors that are complicated and difficult to correct with typical parenting strategies. Trauma has changed the connections in the brain and consequently, how your child experiences life is different. The road is often difficult, but there is hope and healing! Parents who understand the complexity of the impact of trauma can discover the need behind their child's behavior and teach new ways to relate to the world while changing the structure of the child's brain to bring healing.
I find it best to first understand this concept by looking at my own behavior in light of “needs behind behaviors”. Imagine standing in the grocery line at 5:30pm after a stressful workday with 3 kids in tow. One child asks for the third time, "Can we get gum." I loudly and rudely snap at my child, "Just stop asking!" There is so much is behind this reaction - my own stress, my exhaustion, my need for food, my child's day which I haven't had time to unwrap, and their own hunger. What if I faced the situation understanding needs behind my behavior and my child's? What if I had made connection, leaning down on their level, with a hand on the shoulder and said, "Not tonight." Empowered them to meet a need: " I will give you a snack in the car since you are hungry." And at the same time corrected with boundaries: "Do not ask again." With a healthier response I connect, empower, and correct. Through understanding the needs behind behaviors I can offer grace to myself for my own mistakes and understanding to my child of their needs.
Most often children from a hard place don't know how to voice their needs. It gets complicated and messy. They can't tell the difference in the feeling of hunger and feelings they may have experienced with days without food. While one should elicit asking for food, the other is about survival. Your child may have missed out on learning these cues because of their traumatic experiences. If your child has lived in survival in the past, they just can't tell the difference.
But the story doesn’t end with a child who doesn't understand their own needs. You have a beautiful opportunity to bring healing to your child through parenting in a way that meets the child's deep needs through attachment-based, trauma-informed care. What they missed out on can be regained! It takes hard work and a willingness to try new things and look at yourself and your own weaknesses. There is hope!
If your family is stuck and you need help understanding your child’s behavior and you need new ways to parent, then I would love to walk alongside you in this journey. Please call me and let’s get started.
Michelle Batten, MS
TBRI® Educator and Parent Coach