Developing a team 2: Part 3 Cautions

Team Cautions

When assembling a team, everyone needs to be aware of problems at can occur. Learn some things to watch out for.

HANDOUT: Team: Responsibilities and Cautions

  1. Safety is the first priority and must be maintained at all times. 
  2. Staff is responsible for a working knowledge of attachment, trauma, and child development (specific knowledge of strategies being employed is preferred).
  3. Adults are to be in control at all times. Control can be shared with a co-operative child.
  4. Manage your own emotional regulation, avoid anger and sarcasm.
  5. Be as flexible as possible to change activities, plans, and expectations. Narrate to over explain all changes. Reframe to TDCs when needed. (www.earlytrauma.com for more information)
  6. Working with the parents:
    1. Do not criticize the parents but try to develop empathy for their experiences. If there are concerns, discuss these with the parents when the child is not present.
    2. Dedicate time to planning with the parents before intervening. Encourage parents with helpful ideas, plans, and problem solving.
    3. Communicate frequently and honestly with the parents. Avoid coalitions and exclusions within the team.
    4. Model and encourage proper respect and behavior towards parents.
    5. Help parents plan needed respites when they are overwhelmed and emotionally unavailable.
    6. Remember the tag team approach.
  7. Working with the child:
    1. The child may have passive-aggressive behaviors.
    2. Triangulation is symptomatic of early trauma, be prepared for it.
    3. The child’s behaviors may incite one to lose patience and empathy. Self-regulation is paramount.
    4. The child’s behaviors are driven by a TDC. Never assume intention.
    5. The child has a Negative Internal Working Model in which he or she may believe adults are dangerous. Do not align with the child’s negativity. Remind the child that he is valuable to his parents and his parents can be trusted which is contrary to the NIWM.
    6. Avoid using behavior modification techniques prior to reframing origin to a TDC.
    7. Attachment activities needed to be limited to the parents, (touch, affectionate words, and fun activities). If others are involved in enjoyable activities with the child, use the idea of “funneling” all good things come through/via parents.
    8. Reaffirm with the child that the parents make all decisions.
    9. Guide the child into correctly interpreting parental expectations.
    10. Identify and support the child’s ability to self-regulate.
    11. Identify and constantly reinforce the positive effects of cooperation (reciprocity).
    12. Observe and respond to the child’s healthy parts in the appropriate manner. Keep in mind the child may be uncomfortable with success.
    13. Reinforce the child loses when the unhealthy part is in control.
    14. Reframe arguing about a consequence is a weakness. “Taking a consequence and moving on is strengthening.”
    15. Hold the child responsible for poor behavior without shaming the child.
      1. Reframe behavior origins to TDC.
      2. Provide opportunity for reciprocity (repairing) when possible.
      3. Deliver consequence as a coach. (goal=”you’ll get the win next time).
      4. It is very important to not shame, criticize, or demean the child.
      5. Utilize natural and logical consequences. Avoid punitive consequences.
      6. Self-regulate away from anger. Use sadness.
      7. End with hope for a positive future.

© 2022, Jeff and Faye. All rights reserved.

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