“I dealt with big behavior by trying to control it and shut it down.”

A Connected Families Story

 Connected Families often hears from parents about how our framework has transformed their parenting. The foundation for our framework is, “You are SAFE with me.” The following story is from a mom who had experienced trauma alongside her daughter, and her new appreciation for the importance of safety when it comes to parenting.

My 7-year-old daughter and I are recovering from the trauma we faced with my ex-husband, who recently left us. The whole thing was very hard, especially on my daughter. She saw and experienced things she should not have had to see and experience. This led to heightened anxiety and frequent, intense, verbally hurtful, and even physical blow-outs – mostly at bedtime when she would start to think and remember. 

I usually tried to deal with her big behavior by controlling it and trying to shut it down, or just walking out in anger. I never thought the way I was handling her anxiety might be making it worse.

When I took the Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart online course and heard the teaching on the message, “You are safe with me.” it changed my perspective and totally transformed our lives. I started to understand that all the trauma we had experienced made it really hard for my daughter to feel safe, especially at bedtime. I learned to see ways I could be safe during those intense times.

So I began to stay in her room until she fell asleep every night as a way to help her cope. It was hard – because she did not fall asleep until 9:30 or 10 most nights. I made a big sign and hung it in her room that said, “Child, you are SAFE with me.” And another one that said, “I love you – no matter what.” I cried when I made them. It was like I was putting a stake in the ground. That no matter what we had gone through, I would be there for her in the way that she needed and that we would get through this. 

It took a long time but just this week my daughter said she didn’t need me in the room anymore and she fell asleep on her own. The most encouraging thing is this: if these messages can transform our lives having gone through trauma and really hard things, it can help everyone. I will recommend this course until I am blue in the face. 

If these messages can transform our lives having gone through trauma and really hard things, it can help everyone.

I cannot express how encouraged I was by the support I received in the Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart online course. As a single parent going through a really difficult situation, it can be intimidating joining a group that consists mostly of traditional nuclear families, but I never felt out of place or unwelcome.   

More than anything, this course gave me the belief that I can get through this time and raise my child well through it all. 

Want to learn more?

  1. Listen to the full story on the How to Be An Emotionally Safe Parent podcast.
  2. Download the ebook Four Messages Every Child Longs to Hear.
  3. Register for Discipline That Connect With Your Child’s Heart online course! 

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