Traditional Parenting vs. Trauma-Informed Parenting
Many of our kids have experienced years and years of trauma, so our first job is to get them back to a place of regulation.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Understanding how to best love, teach, and correct our children is something we are continually learning. Add to that, learning to parent kids who have experienced trauma, and things that may have worked for our biological children now seem to have the opposite effect on our kids. In today's society practical insight and encouragement to help us parent our kids in a way that keep us connected.
- First, Help your Child Regulate His or Her Emotions.
Many things can trigger the brains of our children with trauma backgrounds and cause them - without thinking - to run to survival mode (fight, flight or freeze.) Our # 1 job as parents is to help our children regulate their emotions to a place of calm so that learning and healing can begin. Parenting this way can look like spoiling or enabling if you're looking at it through the traditional parenting lens, but as a trauma-informed parent, you are building trust, intentionally. This is your first priority.
- Take Away the Power of Negative Behaviors
Let's say your child stole a candy bar and you found out. Don't give them the opportunity to lie. Instead of asking "Did you steal the candy bar?", say something like "I know you took the candy bar; now we are going to make it right." This helps alleviate the crazy cycle that often happens when you catch a child in a lie, and they refuse to admit the truth. "What you are doing isn't working. The negative isn't working." This doesn't negate consequences, but instead, it takes away the power of the lie and puts the focus back on connection and provides a road to healing.