Hope for Hurting Children and Families

Parents, you have been tasked with one of the most challenging tasks known to man. You have been entrusted with little humans: to care for them, provide for them, and develop them into mature and productive adults. Few would disagree that you have one of the most challenging jobs.

Then there are those of you that may or may not have biological children but have also chosen to foster and/or adopt additional children in your home. This was not an easy decision, nor an easy task. I am writing specifically to you. But if you are a biological parent, especially if your child has experienced any form of trauma, please know I am writing to you as well.

Most, if not all, children who are currently in the foster system or who have been adopted have experienced trauma. This may be from experiencing neglect in a previous home, witnessing or experiencing violence, being unexpectedly ripped from the only home they have known, seeing drug use, prenatal-birth-nicu complications, little care in an orphanage, or just the simple lack of attachment to a stable caregiver. Therefore, we know that parenting these children with trauma in their past is not easy. You may find yourself feeling frustrated and hopeless as you strive to give these children a better life than they have known previously. Their behavior may seem ungrateful, disobedient, confused, and hopeless as well.

But there is hope, and you are the key to healing these little ones’ minds and hearts. I want to introduce you to Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). TBRI is a trauma-informed, therapeutic model that revolves around meeting the needs of vulnerable children. The three main principles are Connecting with a safe caregiver, Empowering the child in meeting their needs, and Correcting behaviors in a way that disarms fear. TBRI believes that the healing journey for these children from hard places starts with a healthy relationship with a safe caregiver. TBRI teaches parents about how trauma affects the child’s brain, how a caregiver can help teach their child what to do when they are dysregulated, and how to have a safe and caring relationship with a child from a hard place.

Please do not feel like you have to do this alone. There is a broadening understanding of what these children have experienced and how it affects them long term. If you are interested in learning more about TBRI, please go to the following link to find many resources. Another great resource is the book The Connected Child, which can be found on our resources page.

You do not have to go far to receive professional help in learning about TBRI. Northshore Family Counseling is excited to have a TBRI Practitioner and other counselors trained in TBRI to help your family on this journey of healing relationships. Please contact us at 985-661-0560 to schedule a session with one of our trained TBRI counselors to begin finding joy in your family again today!