–by Emerging Mama Monica Reynolds [originally published on the author’s blog, November 21, 2017] Another holiday season upon us! A season that for many is filled with joy, excitement, and celebrations, very often presents trauma families with additional stress and confusion. When we just want to chill and enjoy the celebrations like normal (whatever that is) families are doing, we are instead switched into extra-scaffolding mode, knowing that lax schedules, extra food and treats, gifts, and new
–by Sara Borgstede (originally posted on the author’s blog, The Holy Mess, on November 14, 2017) Have you recently given birth to a baby or brought a new family member into your home through foster care or adoption? Maybe you are a relative or friend looking for Christmas gifts for a new little one in your life. I’m thrilled to bring you this guide to gifts that promote attachment and bonding. We were foster parents for
–by Emerging Mama Monica Reynolds [originally published on the author’s blog, November 14, 2017, just in time for the biggest food extravaganza of them all!] Just this past week, I discovered a new secret stash of food and food wrappers in my child’s bedroom. It wasn’t in the same place as the stash before, or the one before that, or…the one. before. that. Secret stashes of food and food wrappers are a sad reminder that while
–by Julie Beem I’ve been to a handful of post-adoption conferences this spring and summer. After working with ATN for over a decade, I have been excited by the number of workshops and speakers addressing early childhood trauma, and in some cases citing the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study. I remember all too well the many years when trauma and attachment challenges were not openly addressed at conferences attended by adoption professionals and adoptive parents.
–by Sara Borgstede This was originally posted on the author’s website, The Holy Mess – Balancing Faith, Family, and Fitness, on June 4, 2017. As we drive through the beautiful rolling hills of western New York, my husband reaches over to grasp my hand. I glance over and see a stream of tears run down his cheek as he navigates the car. My eyes are dry. I’ve cried so much over these days, I have no
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD I sat on the floor next to her. I understood her fear of abandonment, the trauma she had experienced, and how her mother had been unable to provide any form of comfort. I watched her body shake uncontrollably and offered a blanket. I knew she would not want me to hold her. As we sat, I thought about how this had all started the day she was born. My cognitive understanding
–by Janyne A. McConnaughey, Ph.D. originally published June 21, 2017 on Janyne’s blog I stood in the doorway. I was very small, maybe two. I was sucking on my two middle fingers and watching my mother in the kitchen. I was forbidden from entering. Then I did the unthinkable. I stepped over the imaginary line and asked for a cookie. The response was not a positive one, but what strikes me most is how I felt
–by Julie Beem In my last post, I wrote about a mom in search of an appropriate consequence for her daughter’s misbehavior at school. I suggested that an at-home consequence (taking away Wednesday night church activities) for an in-school behavior might not be the best approach, in part because children with brains affected by trauma lack neurotypical cause-and-effect thinking. Today, I’m going to address two other reasons such consequences usually don’t work. First of all,
–By Julie Beem A mother called me a while back. “What consequence can I give her?” she started, “She just won’t behave at school and the teacher keeps sending home notes. The only thing I can think of, the only thing she seems to enjoy is going to our church’s Wednesday night events. If I take this away, will she understand and start behaving?” Hmmm…this type of consequence makes logical sense in typical parenting world.
–by Laura Dennis Author’s note: I was working on an entirely brand-new post for this week, but life happened. I present instead an edited version of a a post I wrote for my own blog, Les Pensées du chat noir, in honor of National Attachment and Trauma Awareness Day, 2015. You can learn more at the NATA website. In 2015, my family did more than their fair share to keep doctors in business. Whether it be broken