Foster Fridays: Empowered to Connect and Changing my Inner Narrative
Last weekend was the trauma-informed training, Empowered to Connect. It featured excellent speakers who shared insight and practical application for parenting using the Trust Based Relational Intervention method of Karyn Purvis.
There were many great take-aways, but here are some of my favorite quotes-
“If harm comes through relationship, healing can only come through relationship.”
“Relationship can’t develop if you’re not connected emotionally.”
“If kids don’t connect, you won’t be able to address behavior.”
“Do not take a survival strategy away from a child [over-eating, lashing out,] if you’re not going to replace it by teaching a new strategy.”
As I parent, I too often consider things that are not beneficial to my child. That are not trauma-informed. I compare the tools I am using with the tools used in traditional parenting and fear judgement. I see my child doing something another parent wouldn’t tolerate, and tell myself I’m failing. This conference made me realize I need to change my inner narrative.
The overall theme was that children impacted by trauma need to feel safe. They need to relearn and rebuild. This needs to be top priority. So often our attention is on behaviors. We worry about what our child’s future will look like if a habit continues. If we’re facing a behavior, and our focus is on what will happen to our child down the road if this behavior continues, we’re not all-there for our child in the moment. Children communicate through behavior. The focal-point needs to be, “What does my child need in this moment? What is making them feel unsafe, and how can I fix it?”
I walked away from Empowered to Connect with a greater understanding of my child, and with tools to be a better parent. I’m so thankful for this training opportunity, and am already looking forward to next year!