Frightening experiences within the family, especially when severe and chronic, can result in changes in the way the child’s body functions. All mammals respond to threats in the same way. I use a bunny as a way of illustrating how threat responses occur in the body. These responses can get stuck, so to speak, when fear is frequent and coming from those who are meant to keep you safe.
Links and Reading
The Whole Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. I think it is important that parents understand the basics of how their own and their child’s brain work. After all, developing our child’s brain is what we are doing when we parent.
Hope for Healing, published by ATTACh.org. This is a book written for parents by professionals who are also adoptive parents (including me!) It is a really great place to start and easy to read. I recommend sharing it with grandparents and other family members to help them understand your child.
Creating Loving Attachments, by Kim Golding and Dan Hughes. Dan has written several books, some for therapists and some more for parents and therapists. Read everything he writes if you enjoy the art and science of attachment-focused parenting.