Most people tend to think of children as innocent, but those of us who work with young boys and girls on a regular basis understand just how complex their little minds and lives can be. Anyone who has raised a child has an appreciation for what is one of life’s most challenging roles — and one of life’s most rewarding, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

Every child is complex, but children who have come from life’s “hard places” — abuse, neglect, abandonment, even early medical care, difficult pregnancies or deliveries — are vulnerable in ways that are difficult to imagine. Like all of us, they want to be loved, but their life experiences, including those they may not remember, make it difficult to trust and develop attachment with well-meaning adults in their lives. An example is the adoptive family that showers love on a child, only to be baffled by behavior that just doesn’t make sense… even for children adopted directly after being born.

Dr. Karen Purvis of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, pioneered a strategy for understanding and responding to these behavioral problems that are the result of coming from hard places.  Trust-Based Relational Intervention® is based on research into the development of children’s brains and uses a caring, loving approach to meet each child’s needs. Care to Change uses TBRI® as a strategy for helping parents and children overcome problems and create lifelong connections.

In short, TBRI recognizes what happens in the body and brain as a result of overwhelming stress and trauma. When faced with difficult situations later on, the brain’s chemistry responds as though the traumatic situation is occurring again and that can lead to a response way beyond what the situation should justify. TBRI empowers parents to correct those missteps in brain chemistry, and provides guidance for engaging effectively with children to rebuild trust and establish healthy, supportive relationships.

Just as important, TBRI provides effective measures for correcting inappropriate behavior. It includes an understanding of the difference between discipline and punishment, so that children can learn the results of their behavior and regulate themselves in the future.

If you would like to learn more about helping your children, or children you love, consider joining our 12-week parenting group starting July 12. While it’s an investment of time and money, we know your children are worth it, and their futures may depend on the help you give them today. In the meantime, this (linked) article is an excellent resource in explaining more about TBRI, the principles taught and concrete steps to take when facing difficult behavior.

Care to Change is here to help. In fact, one of our owners and therapists is a TBRI practitioner trained by Dr. Purvis at Texas Christian University. Feel free to call us at 317-790-9396 to schedule a time to talk with us or to learn more about how we can help you.

Parenting can be difficult, but the rewards can also be long-lasting. If you’re struggling, call us today.

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