Parenting from the heart and the brain
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Parenting from the Heart and the Brain. Jennifer Scholes , MA Child Welfare Partnership Portland State University. Please note. This training is based on the policies and procedures of the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Program.

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Parenting from the Heart and the Brain

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Parenting from the Heartand the Brain

Jennifer Scholes, MA

Child Welfare Partnership

Portland State University

Please note

This training is based on the policies and procedures of the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare Program.

If you are certified by another agency, we recommend consulting with your agency for guidance.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe what blocked care is

  • Identify the impact of blocked care on

  • caregivers and children

    • Practice effective parenting



  • Brain Based Parenting

    • Daniel Hughes

    • John Baylin


What makes parenting rewarding?


What happens when parenting isn’t rewarding?

“Going Limbic”


Blocked Care


Blocked Care

How does it feel?

What does it do to us?


  • Plan A - “The Good Life”

    Plan B – “I can’t trust that adults will meet my needs”

PlPlan B’s Results

  • Fear conditioning

  • Search for the negative

    • Hypervigilance

The Combination in turn…

  • Creates premature self reliance plus mistrust of caregivers

    • “The Rules”

Where’s the hope?

  • Most children can eventually move to Plan A.

    • Three things that make a difference

Parenting Related Systems

  • Parental Approach

  • Parent Reward

    Child Reading

    Meaning Making System

    Executive System

Attachment Style Parenting

Child expresses need

We experience ourselves in a positive way

We identify the need & meet it

Child relaxes

Child is soothed

Reactive Style Parenting(Blocked Care)

Facial expressions, eye movement, subtle change in tone of voice

Over-reaction to nonverbal communication

Child is a threat to well being

We see few parenting options

We judge the child and ourselves

Yelling timeout, grounding

“I am not a good parent”

We go into survival mode

Quick, emotions based action

Kinds of Blocked Care

Chronic Blocked Care

  • Unmanageable levels of stress very early in life

Acute Blocked Care

  • A huge event limits ability to parent

Child-Specific Blocked Care

Stage Specific Blocked Care

“The Twos and the Teens”

Overcoming Blocked Care

Not just self-care

More than deep breathing

A learned parenting style

PACE Parenting

PRegaining Perspective

Reconnecting the heart and brain

PACE Parenting

  • Playfulness




  • “I’m doing the best I can.”

Putting it all together

  • Watch for small successes

  • Watch for reciprocity

  • Watch for Revised Life Rules

    “What’s a Parent to Do?”

Thank You

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