Saturday, February 11, 2023

Parent to Parent: Healing Emotional Trauma

Parent to Parent: Healing Emotional TraumaParent to Parent: Healing Emotional Trauma by Dave & Barb Kenney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘Children wounded by the world have been given little reason to trust it.’

Many adoptive families battle for years to build the harmonious family they had imagined. Unfortunately, when it comes to understanding the plight of the adopted child, one of the major obstacles preventing such family harmony is one of the least understood. That obstacle is trauma.

Similar to infant cries and animal behavioral cues, young people's distressed cries and act-out behaviors are natural alarm signals. Their alarm signals alert us that something about the child's physical or emotional well-being, current situation, life, or environment poses a risk to their healthy development. When we fully comprehend that questionable behaviors are actually children's natural alarm signals, we will be less likely to force children to comply with upsetting, unnatural conditions by punishing, medicating, or otherwise coercing them. From the hyperactive toddler to the enraged 17-year-old, we will start to understand more and more as we observe our society that punishment, force, bribes, manipulation, and medication do not turn distressed children into happy, cooperative, or compassionate people; they also do not fill the voids and satiate the needs that children are trying to alert us to with their alarm signals.

To summarize the synopsis: The story of Parent to Parent is based on the experiences of Dave and Barb Kenney, who have fostered and adopted children who have experienced trauma. Barb works as a social worker, and Dave is a child psychologist. Parent to Parent is a book about emotional recovery that aims to educate parents and educators about the effects of psychological trauma on a child's developing personality. It demonstrates how a child thinks and learns as they grow and explains how certain childhood traumas may have particular sets of potential effects on the developing ego. These effects have specific psychological effects on personality, which result in predictable behavioral patterns. As a result, we can take strategic action to shift growth in the direction of well-being. By doing this, we can prepare abused or abandoned children for serious mental illnesses as adults while also addressing the modern challenges these kids bring to their homes and schools. Parent to Parent aids traumatized children in preventing adult trauma.

In this book, the authors want to teach about emotions in a way that comes from how they are naturally taught—through actual feelings and a common understanding. They hope that by doing this, readers will not only understand the dynamics involved in healing but also develop the emotions required to successfully put that knowledge into practice. They hope that their approach will enable readers to fully comprehend the process of healing both our children and ourselves. For families in need, they currently offer two books, a website, and a question-and-answer forum.

I couldn’t emphasize enough how important this work is. Very highly recommended and a well-deserved five stars from me.

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