Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Words to Remember.

Beyond Consequences Online was about Defiance last week, my the things I could talk about but a lot of them overlap with the things that I talked about last week in my post about agression. Instead of writing my own post I am going to share Heather's quick reference page from the end of her chapter on Defiance. I have commented on some of Heather's words in italics.

Remember that defiance:
  • Is grounded in fear - it is a fear reaction
  • It is preceded by a fear response.
  • Can move quickly to aggression if fed with more fear.
  • Happens when a child perceives a request as a threat, even the simplest of requests.
  • Is predictable in four areas for children with trauma histories: transition, school-time, bath-time, bedtime.
When discovering this behaviour recognize that your child needs you to:
  • First be aware of your own reaction to the defiance. (hard for me because I usually just want to yell)
  • Step back and give him the space to process the fear. ( sometimes this needs to be physical step, sometimes I need to actually step closer and be able to touch him to help him ground himself)
  • Verbally acknowledge the fear to him in a loving way. (this is hard for me and does not always happen)
  • Listen to the defiance and reflect upon this unconscious response.
  • Link this defiance to his past experiences. ( this works with Calvin but not Fudge)
  • Validate the trauma feeding the defiant fear-based reaction. ( we validate the fear but not the behaviour that comes from it, sometimes their defiance is doing something they know is not okay, we talk it through but they stil have to make amends)
  • Interrupt any negative repetitous conditioning
  • Understand that he cannot make logical choices in this fear state ( when I first realised this is was a lightbulb moment for me)
  • Open up communication in order to express this fear with you.
  • Teach the life lesson later when he is calm and more cogniznat ( this may even be a day later and often is around here)
- pg 82,  Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control Volume 1,  Heather T. Forbes and B. Bryan Post.

I like B.C. because it gives me a place to start from and some important reminders in parenting traumtized children. I think that the theories are applicable in many situations and the the agression and defiance chapters are very useful in our home. But, like all parenting theories I read I take what works us and make it ours.  I don't think that one theory fits all situations but BC is  a way of parenting and not an attempt to correct behaviours in the moment. Parenting like this helps me because my children are not going to heal in the moment, they are going to be affected by their pasts for the rest of their lives.

If you have read or are reading BC what parts resonate with you?


Mom 4 Kids said...

I like what you share here and also the part about making it your own - how it works for your family and kids. We find the same thing.

The four areas of predictable problem situations - check check check check. Thanks for this post.

GB's Mom said...

I like it because it slows me down and prevents me from just reacting- at least with the younger ones. I try with MK, but it is much harder and I am not always successful.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

"step back and give him space to process the fear"

I find that if I step back for a minute, I'll even tell Genea, I am going to give you a minute to think about this and I will be back. She most often will come to me first and say, ok I am going to go "fill in blank" now.
Other times I need to move in closer and physically lay a hand on her shoulder to sort of bring her back.

My biggest problem is that 90% of Genea's trauma is pre-verbal so there is nothing concrete to link to for her. Not to mention I was not there for it and there are such limited records so I am almost always working in the dark.

Great post- thanks!!!!

Shanti said...

great post! and great reminders, too.