Everyday TBRI®: Levels of Response- Level 1

Posted July 22, 2016

Everyday TBRI®: Levels of Response- Level 1

Everyday TBRI®

Levels of Response™
 Level 1: Playful Engagement
One of the areas that we see families struggle the most in is how to appropriately respond when a child talks back, breaks a rule, pretends they don’t hear you, or hits a sibling.  I come from a family of yellers and will absolutely own that when my children do the things on the list above (Because they do.  All. The. Time.), my initial inclination is to raise my voice.  It is a habit.  I pull out that ole residual dismissive attachment style to block out my kids’ feelings, and I raise my voice because this mom means business.  Let me tell you how that works.  It doesn’t. 
We know from parenting kids, and especially kids from backgrounds of trauma, that our best method in responding is with the leastamount of force.  That’s the honest truth.  Children have the best capability to learn when as a parent, we are responding calmly and playfully whenever possible.  An important piece of this is being a consistent parent.  Your children need to know that you will respond in generally the same way each time they test the limits.  Why is that important?  Because their bio parents were inconsistent.  Depending on their parents’ moods, food situation, job security, or how much they had been drinking, their responses would have been different daily.  Inconsistent parenting = lack of felt safety. 
Any easy response for most small behaviors is to ask children to try something again.  Simple.  There are several playful scripts that help with this.  If your kids are yelling, start whispering.  They have to lower their voices to hear you.  Are you dealing with grumpy children who love the word “No”? Tickling is my favorite intervention.  Follow that up with some ice cream, and your job is done. 
Weekend homework:  Take some time to think and talk about ways that you can be more playful in responding to your children.  Get feedback from people who see you parent. 

Tune in each Friday for more Everyday TBRI®

What is TBRI®?
TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

TBRI® is designed for children from “hard places” such as abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. Because of their histories, it is often difficult for these children to trust the loving adults in their lives, which often results in perplexing behaviors. TBRI® offers practical tools for parents, caregivers, teachers, or anyone who works with children, to see the “whole child” in their care and help that child reach his highest potential.
Want to know more? Visit TCU’s Institute of Child Developmenthttp://child.tcu.edu/