PSSST! Spoiler Alert!!!
Educator friends and parents! Please hear me.
I’m going to tell you what’s inside the nutshell:
Trauma-informed is NOT about changing the kids.
It’s about changing US.
You see I have a child that had debilitating meltdowns for YEARS.
I became a trauma-informed parent and I started teaching him all the good stuff about his amygdala and cortisol and oxytocin and water and air. He was seven at the time and I had no idea if it was all clicking until one night, he runs into the room shouting and stomping his feet, “I’m dysregulated! My amygdala is pumping! There is cortisol flooding!” His face was beet red and his ears were purple.
I asked, a little alarmed, “What do you need from me?”
He threw his hand up and shouted “I don’t need anything from you!” and he sat down gasping for air and watched the clock — because I had taught him it takes 5 to 7 minutes for a kid to come out of the first phase of dysregulation.
And in that moment, it hit me: my job is to stay calm and shut up.
That was 3 years ago and today my son is meltdown-free. When he gets agitated my husband and I look at each other with a knowing look. “He needs connection,” we say.
I see all of these posts about how do I get this kid to do that or that kid to do this?
Please understand that when we remain calm and attuned to our kids with over-active stress response systems, this is the biggest way we help them.
Trauma-informed is less about the kids and more about the adults.
Behaviorism is wrapped up in getting kids to change their behaviors. Traumatology is about getting the adults to change from their reactions to responses. To change our desires to get a kid under control.
This is not about modifying behavior.
It is about healing brains through relationships…through connection…which is co-regulation.
We need you on the team. We need your colleagues on the team.
Our kids deserve it. Join us in Kansas City at Bridging to Resilience in April.
If you like what you’re reading here, let’s connect! I’d love to help you and your organization help your kids and staff.
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