Therapeutic Parenting for Children Traumatised by Domestic Violence

Therapeutic Parenting for Children Traumatised by Domestic Violence

The damage inflicted on a child as a result of domestic violence - be it physical or emotional - can have a catastrophic effect on their young lives. In this episode, Rachel Cawthorn, helps us to understand why this is the case and what physiological changes take place in a child as a result of this abuse. Rachel is a social worker with 15 years experience in the profession. She also experienced domestic violence as a child and, as a result, entered into two toxic relationships as a young adult which took their toll on her four children. All this is now firmly in Rachel's past but no one could be better placed to understand the damage inflicted by this kind of abuse. This is why her advice on how to apply therapeutic parenting's kind and gentle techniques is worth heeding. Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

Listen to the full episode now - Episode 10

The Centre of Excellence in Child Trauma is an umbrella organisation combining resources, research and knowledge from cutting edge experts in the sector – Inspire Training Group, National Association of Therapeutic Parents, Sarah Naish – Keynote Speaker and Author, The Haven – Parenting and Wellbeing Centre and Safer Fostering.

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Morning Therapeutic Parents!

It’s half term in our weird pandemic world. Aaargh!!! Fear not, we all feel a bit overwhelmed and want to step off the nauseating waltzer of 2020-21.

So here are quick ideas:-

- Set alarm 30 mins early. Get showered and dressed before everyone wakes up.

- Don’t neglect your water intake and carry a bottle around with you.

- Hide that emergency dark chocolate or cereal bar where your children can’t find and reward yourself for getting to 9 am. Repeat each hour!

- Try a different warm drink - fruit tea, cuppa soup (slice of bread for energy!), hot ribena etc.

- There’s always the bathroom to get five minutes of peace in. Use it!!

My youngest tells his Teaching Assistant that “you don’t wee as much as my Mammy because she goes to the toilet a lot more “

It’s ok, I’m not suffering from too much tea drinking. It’s just perfect to escape for a quick break

My last tip for today. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT feel pressured to take up a new hobby IN HALFTERM -IN LOCKDOWN 3!!! Don’t read those bragging posts from perfect parents.

Now is not the time to take up Pygmy goat herding (my dream!), sewing 10 outfits from scratch, rebuilding the car engine, home brewing (altho I can see the big attraction!), decorating the whole house (my friend with non trauma children said to me last week that ‘lockdown had given her so much time to redecorate for the teenagers’. My reply was ‘great, then when you are bored this half term can you come and repaint our bedroom because I’m too busy rocking it on surviving!’ She laughed and then realised that she had told the wrong person about her DIY makeover success There’s always 2030 for a new hobby. Stick to what you know in these days.

Last one - reach out and use the supportive NATP documents and make sure you have your next virtual listening circle date in your diary.

Good luck and remember there’s a whole TP community behind you!

Lindsay - Volunteer of Essential Care

"I do feel like we are living in Groundhog Day! I have to repeat myself so often and every time is either like new information or the children simply don't care. Doesn't matter how many times I explain the if you leave the bath taps on the bath will flood, or if they go out without a coat on they will get cold. They seem to totally unable to imagine or care about what happens next. This means that I already know to throw away my reward charts. Also stop bothering with 'if you don't..., x will happen.' it's pointless.

More puzzling, (and worrying) is that when we go backwards it seems to come out of nowhere. Today we were all sitting in the kitchen playing with some Play-Doh and suddenly William started screaming and crying and running out the back door. All the children looked puzzled and I had no idea what was going on. I followed him outside and hugged him to try and help him calm down. He wasn't making any sense - just crying and screaming and pointing. I couldn't get him to come in the kitchen for over half an hour. after a couple of hours i managed to work out that he was scared of a fly that had come into the room. it's really hard to know when this kind of thing might happen.

I had the same reactions last week when we went down to the beach. This was the first time the children have seen the see, and suddenly Sophie and William will literally climbing up me screaming hysterically. I'm sure people around us thought that something terrifying had just happened, but from the look on their faces something actually had.

Last week the school phoned me to say that Sophie was crying and could not be consoled. when I went up there, she was still sitting outside the headmistress’s room and no one could comfort her. I ended up taking her home.

I tried everything... guessing, telling her what I thought it was, etc, but nothing seems even close. Sometimes I just don't seem to be able to reach the children they seem like they're in a different place and when they look at me I don't feel like they're seeing me but something else. I can never tell what triggers these episodes of terror or extreme sadness. I just know that I have to stay with them and keep trying to get them back to me.

As a parent I think it's one of the most frustrating things. Just as I start to feel like I'm getting somewhere, I am suddenly looking at this child in front of me like they are crazy.

It's very scary...."

At NATP We Get It! We have walked in your shoes, some of us still are...

Extract taken: Therapeutic Parenting Essentials: Moving from Trauma to Trust