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Creating a culture of gentleness with families. C-Waiver Conference East Lansing September 8, 2010 . What is the role of parents?. Core Values. Attachment Cycles 1 st Year. . Need. . Relaxation of tension (trust). Trust of Caretaking. State of high arousal (rage). . .

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creating a culture of gentleness with families

Creating a culture of gentleness with families

C-Waiver Conference

East Lansing

September 8, 2010

attachment cycles 1 st year
Attachment Cycles1st Year



of tension


Trust of


State of high

arousal (rage)

Satisfaction of



attachment cycles 2 nd year
Attachment Cycles2nd Year


Mutual good


Trust of





of limits

unmet developmental needs
Unmet Developmental Needs
  • The inability to self-soothe
  • The lack of empathy
  • Poor impulse control
  • Physical
  • Developmental
  • Mental Illness
attachment disorders
Attachment Disorders

Behavioral manifestations in children include:

  • Opposition
  • Control
  • Jealousy
  • Stealing
  • Anger/Rage
  • Recurrent and severe physical abuse
  • Recurrent and severe emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Factors affecting how a child responds to trauma:
    • Child’s relationship to the victim/perpetrator
    • Child’s past experience with trauma
loss and grief
Loss and Grief
  • Parents
  • Other family
  • Trusted caregivers
parental issues
Parental Issues
  • Divorce
  • Poverty
  • Mental Illness
stressful interactions
Stressful Interactions
  • Restrictions
  • Punishments
  • Social Isolation
  • Shaming
a culture of gentleness means
A culture of Gentleness Means
  • Warm words, loving and soft touches
  • Staying with those who are fearful
  • Doing things for those who will not or cannot
  • Being peaceful in the face of violence
it does not mean
It Does Not Mean
  • Fixing and focusing on behaviors/ symptoms
  • Letting the other do whatever they want
  • Focusing on tasks
  • Focusing on differences
support strategies
Support Strategies
  • Be soft, slow and gentle
  • Do things for the person
  • Draw the person into activities with you
  • Always be ready to help or back off
  • Express warmth throughout
  • Focus on the relationship
  • Honor the person
support strategies18
Support Strategies
  • Provide predictable daily routines
    • Use of schedules
    • Visual
    • Introduce changes via the schedule
  • Teach coping/relaxation skills
support strategies19
Support Strategies
  • Consistent sleep routines
  • Regular, healthy meals and snacks
  • Physical activity
  • Sensitivity to health issues
support strategies20
Support Strategies
  • Give messages of safety and love
  • Empathize and validate feelings
  • Identify early signs that the child is feeling scared or insecure
  • Calm the environment
support strategies21
Support Strategies
  • Know your child’s developmental level and keep expectations in accordance
  • Offer choices – be cautious about offering too many
  • Keep promises
  • Play and have fun!
  • Only reacting to frustrations and fears rather than their prevention
  • Focusing on independence vs. interdependence
  • Teaching a lesson
  • Raising one’s voice
  • Being overly demanding
  • Saying or implying “I’m the boss”
  • Insisting on having the last word
  • Using tense body language
  • Preaching
  • Overwhelming the child physically or verbally
  • Using sarcasm
  • Arguing
  • Trying to reason when the child is agitated
  • Talking about the child vs. talking to the child
when meltdowns occur
When Meltdowns Occur
  • Not an optimal time to teach
  • We’re going to do something else
  • Gaining control is not the goal
  • Focusing on the problem can be risky
  • Safety, security and dignity are the first considerations
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”KahilGibran

Sheena Gorecki, Ph.D.

Director of Children’s Services

MORC, Inc.

(586) 263-8973

  • Diane Lindsay, Ed.S.

Director of Clinical Operations

MORC, Inc.

(586) 263-8919